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, identified 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.
In collaboration with the CEEDAR Center, AACTE engaged higher education and PK-12 leaders in applying the AACTE CPC frameworks for clinical educator preparation to address problems of practice encountered when preparing teacher candidates to meet the needs of students who require specialized supports. AACTE convened a Special Education Task Force to identify critical areas and emergent issues in relation to the preparation of special education teachers, as inclusive practitioners and leaders, through the lens of clinical practice and the 10 AACTE CPC Proclamations.
The task force was composed of experts in the field of special education from across the nation. The report is available to all AACTE members: https://secure.aacte.org/apps/rl/resource.php?resid=773&ref=rl
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.
The Reducing the Shortage of Special Education Teachers Networked Improvement Community is seeking applications for participation by AACTE member preparation programs and their partners. Please learn more at: https://aacte.org/programs-and-services/nic-reducing-shortage-set