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With support from the CEEDAR Center, AACTE identified and documented two exemplary teacher preparation programs that ensure all of their candidates are ready to work with all students, including students with disabilities. We are pleased to feature a set of videos from each program documenting how they implement curriculum for dual certification (general education and special education) and feature extensive clinical preparation.
In addition to learning about these institutions’common focus on clinical practice and mutually beneficial partnerships, viewers will discover the ways they have thoughtfully addressed the needs of their local context while upholding a high standard for teacher preparation. The spotlight series aims to not only celebrate successful programs but also provide models of exemplary practice for those who are in the nascent stages of partnership formation or who need fresh ideas to renew their current work.
The undergraduate Inclusive Early Childhood Education program at Bowling Green State University enrolls approximately 900 students and offers dual certification in early childhood general and special education. Teacher candidates are in increasingly demanding field placements for all four years of their program—in general education settings, special education settings, and inclusive settings. School districts scramble to hire these outstanding students, as they come with the mindset and the skill set to be effective with all students.
The Master’s Program in Secondary Dual Education at Portland State University features dual certification in both general and special education at the secondary level. Entrants to the program come with an undergraduate degree in a content area and engage in two years of extensive and increasing involvement in clinical settings in secondary schools. Principals consider the program transformative in terms of the skills graduates bring to their classrooms.
Watch the videos and hear from teacher candidates, mentor teachers, graduates of the programs, general and special education higher education faculty, deans, university presidents, principals, superintendents and state officials about how and why these programs are promoting equity in both teacher preparation and inclusive instruction in P-12 schools. Discover ideas for implementation in your programs!
The College of Education & Human Development is the largest academic division at Bowling Green State University with over 900 teacher candidates. The Inclusive Early Childhood Program (IEC) blends the best practices from early childhood education with early childhood special education. It addresses the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to meet the needs of each child. Graduates are prepared to provide differentiated, evidence-based instruction to young children from birth through grade 3. The program is committed to the development of partnerships and scholarly endeavors that reflect the University’s professional values of justice, fairness, and equity.
Efficacy of the Program
The success of the IEC program is seen in the increased competition among school districts for BGSU teacher candidates. School districts specifically seek out BGSU’s teacher candidates to work as inclusive educators. They also report that BGSU teacher graduates are well equipped with the skills needed to effectively write Individual Education Plans (IEPs), manage a classroom, and use evidence-based strategies, among other effective teaching tools.
Developing and Sustaining Partnerships
Additional success of the BGSU IEC program stems from its consistent collaboration between its program, the school districts, and schools. Superintendents who work with BGSU assert that all parties need to understand the challenges each school district and university face and must be willing to bridge the gap between research and clinical practice together.
What’s In It for Me? (Benefits)
The Inclusive Early Childhood Education (IEC) program prepares and equips teachers with the skills they need to teach both general education and special education students in the same classroom. BGSU recognizes that their programming to prepare teachers needs to mirror the changing classroom environment. The dual-licensure requirement in the IEC program produces quality candidates who are highly sought after by school districts across Ohio and around the nation.
Advice to Others
BGSU encourages all programs across the country to think of themselves within the broader picture of the changing classroom. They encourage others to break the silo of a traditional education and respond to the needs of their immediate communities. While there are research and data at the federal and state level, BGSU pushes others to think about the local context and how they can address the needs of their immediate surrounding communities.
The Dual Education program at Portland State University is designed to address the critical shortage of special education teachers in Oregon. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Department of Special Education joined together to meet the need of the surrounding communities to increase the number of teachers who are skilled in effective practices for a variety of students. Graduates of the program are equipped to implement inclusive and equitable practices.
Teacher candidates in the secondary dual licensure program are required to be in classrooms under the guidance of expert mentor teachers for two years prior to graduation. Teachers feel they are prepared to implement lessons that address each of their students’ needs. Portland State graduates exemplify this practice through their instruction and engages every student in their learning.
Mentor teachers actively seek out teacher candidates from Portland State University. Teacher candidates come to the classroom with the mindset that all students can learn: inclusion and equity is seen as the foundation to education. Teacher candidates immerse themselves in their mentor teacher’s classroom and develop their teaching craft and understanding of subject content through the lens of a special education teacher.
What’s In It for Me? (Benefits)
Teacher candidates are prepared and ready to take on their own classrooms after two years of clinical practice. Their unique lens for inclusive education and practical experience makes teacher candidates attractive to school districts who are looking to increase inclusive school practices.
Teacher candidates in the secondary dual licensure program are always thinking about who they will be teaching. They are asking themselves, “Who is going to be in my class?” and “How am I supporting everybody’s learning?” Special education is no longer a place, but it is a service that can benefit all students. Portland State teacher candidates not only have the mindset to be inclusive educators; they advocate for the inclusion of all students through their rigorous and expert instruction.
This video compilation documents AACTE member institutions’ exemplary clinical partnerships and practices. Filmed during visits to campuses across the country, the videos capture interviews with deans, faculty, teacher candidates, school principals, teachers, and PK-12 students to illustrate various aspects and outcomes of developing and sustaining successful clinical partnerships.
In addition to learning about these institutions’ common focus on clinical practice and mutually beneficial partnerships, viewers will discover the ways they have thoughtfully addressed the needs of their local context while upholding a high standard for teacher preparation. The spotlight series aims to not only celebrate successful programs but also provide models of exemplary practice for those who are in the nascent stages of partnership formation or who need fresh ideas to renew their current work. You may use the Research-to-Practice Spotlights as both an informational resource and as an instructional tool for your programs and partners.