Press Releases & Statements

AACTE to Present Outstanding Book Award to Vanderbilt University's H. Richard Milner, IV

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(Feb. 6, 2012, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) will present its 2012 Outstanding Book Award to H. Richard Milner, IV, Ph.D., for Start Where You Are, But Don't Stay There: Understanding Diversity, Opportunity Gaps, and Teaching in Today's Classrooms. The award, which recognizes exemplary books that make a significant contribution to the knowledge base of teacher education or of teaching and learning with implications for teacher education, will be presented February 19 at AACTE's 64th Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Dr. Milner's book, published by Harvard Education Press in 2010, addresses a critical issue in educator preparation: the need to prepare pre-service and in-service teachers adequately for the racially diverse student populations in their classrooms.

“The text offers well-constructed, closely analyzed case studies that introduce us to diverse teacher candidates and illuminate their development as culturally responsive teachers,” said Jennie Whitcomb, Ph.D., associate dean for teacher education at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and chair of the AACTE Committee on Research and Dissemination, which oversees the Outstanding Book Award. “The book addresses real-life issues and dilemmas and is relevant for both teachers and teacher educators, and the vivid case studies illustrate how teacher educators can challenge candidates to move forward in their respective journeys.”

The Committee chose Dr. Milner's work for meeting a variety of selection criteria, including: originality of thought in critical analyses of particular assumptions or practices and outlining of proposals that reorient thinking in teacher education; demonstration of high-quality scholarship through synthesis and effective use of research and critical thinking in an area relevant to teacher education; and potential for significant impact on policy or practice in teacher education.

“Milner's approach is to challenge mindsets as an educator working with pre-service teachers, and through his research, to show how effective teachers take practical and positive steps towards a caring, contextually sensitive practice of teaching that provides rich opportunities for learning,” said Rogers Hall, Ph.D., professor and chair of Vanderbilt's Department of Teaching and Learning. “Milner's case studies and larger framework provide a much-needed set of resources for moving forward.”

“Rich Milner is an outstanding scholar whose latest work demands that we think differently about longstanding educational inequities,” said Camilla P. Benbow, Ed.D., Patricia and Rodes Hart dean of Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education and Human Development. “We at Vanderbilt are proud that AACTE has recognized his provocative and inspiring book with this well-deserved award.”

Dr. Milner is associate professor of education and a founding director of the graduate program Learning, Diversity and Urban Studies in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College.

The review committee also chose to honor two other titles with an Honorable Mention for the 2012 Outstanding Book Award because of their compelling contributions to different, yet important, aspects of educator preparation. Those books are Teaching as a Moral Practice: Defining, Developing, and Assessing Dispositions in Education, edited by Peter C. Murrell, Mary E. Diez, Sharon Feiman-Nemser, and Deborah L. Schussler (Harvard Education Press, 2010), and The Fourth Way: The Inspiring Future for Educational Change, by Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley (Corwin Press, 2009).

Find more information on AACTE's 2012 award winners at


AACTE: Serving Learners
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE's reach and influence fuel its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education.