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In recent times, there has been a growing trend by state lawmakers to propose and, in some cases, pass legislation that would censor K-12 classroom discussions. It is vital for the educator preparation community to support intellectual freedom as a core component of a democratic society and oppose the censorship of content and knowledge that would disallow educators to promote empathy and engage students in positive inquiry into social issues.
The Brown v. Board of Education decision ended legalized segregation of U.S. public schools in 1954, yet implicit, institutional, and systemic biases based on race still exist in our education institutions. It is inherent to counter racist practices that are impacting the pipeline for faculty and students of color at colleges for teacher education and to ensure culturally responsive educators are being prepared to teach in the most diverse classrooms in the nation’s history.
As instances of bullying in schools persist, educator preparation programs must equip teacher candidates with the knowledge and confidence to maintain safe, supportive, and inclusive environments for student learning. It is imperative for EPPs to integrate LGBTQ+ topics into their curriculum and prepare future teachers to examine and advocate for structures and practices that welcome gender non-conforming and LGBTQ+ youth and families.
To help ensure AACTE is meeting the needs of the educator preparation community in advancing racial and social justice work, you are invited to complete a 90-second survey to inform future content – it’s not for you, without you.