Preparing Educators for Special and Inclusive Education
AACTE's Commitment in Partnership With the CEEDAR Center
AACTE's equity priorities include a commitment to serving students with disabilities through the preparation of special and inclusive educators. A partnership with the CEEDAR Center supports the infusion of disability-related programming and messaging into AACTE's work. The Association focuses attention on these issues through the AACTE Annual Meeting and other convenings as well as the Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series, topical action groups, principal preparation initiatives, the Clinical Practice Commission, networked improvement communities, the Holmes Program, blogs, webinars, and more.
Six Guiding Considerations for AACTE's Work in Special and Inclusive Education
Numerous evidence-based practices are available for teaching students with disabilities. The following resources may be helpful to educator preparation programs:
AACTE Initiatives Supporting Special Educator Preparation and Inclusive Education
The CEEDAR Center, whose mission is to support states and institutions of higher education to ensure that all educators are prepared to work with all students, particularly students with disabilities, provides supports to AACTE for the development of several initiatives aligned with AACTE's commitment to equity. These include –
Special Education Task Force of the Clinical Practice Commission
In January 2018, AACTE’s Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) issued a report, A Pivot Toward Clinical Practice, Its Lexicon, and the Renewal of Educator Preparation, which outlined the essential features of effective clinical practice, identify a recommended lexicon, and set forth a framework to operationalize effective clinical practice in educator preparation.
The report features 10 Essential Proclamations and Tenets for Highly Effective Clinical Educator Preparation, and is intended to serve as guidance for the development, growth, and renewal of clinical practice in educator preparation programs.
To further extend the work of the commission, AACTE convened the Special Education Task Force, which is further developing tenets within the CPC framework with a focus on the specific actions and considerations necessary for highly effective special and inclusive educator preparation.
The task force is composed of experts in the field from across the nation; its initial report will be available in late 2018. https://aacte.org/professional-development-and-events/clinical-practice-commission-press-conference
Research-to-Practice Videos Highlighting Inclusive Clinical Preparation
AACTE is developing two video series which will highlight programs demonstrating exemplary inclusive clinical practice. These videos will feature interviews with key stakeholders, including higher education faculty and administrators, K-12 partners and principals who hire the program graduates, teacher candidates, and program graduates.
These videos will serve as companions to the current AACTE Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series on Clinical Practice and will build on the work of the CPC and the Special Education Task Force.
Networked Improvement Community (NIC) to Address the Shortage of Special Education Teachers
AACTE is developing a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) to address the critical challenge of the chronic shortage of special education teachers. NICs are characterized by their focus on a well-defined common aim, their deep understanding of a problem and the system that produces it, their disciplined application of improvement science to the problem, and their network of participants. The network accelerates the development, testing, and refining of interventions, then spreads those interventions into a variety of contexts. Learn more about NICs from the Carnegie Foundation’s website.
This NIC will convene teacher preparation programs and their partners who are seeking to find solutions to this challenge to identify, develop, and implement strategies to address the shortage by engaging in an iterative learning process. They will share their discoveries and provide lessons learned broadly throughout the AACTE network.