Welcome to ATE’s Blog Post!
Through our monthly blogs I will be sharing updates of our activities as well as connections to visions for the future of ATE. We have just finished our annual conference in Las Vegas and it was a whirlwind! I must recognize our Past-President’s – Karen Embrey Jenlink’s exemplary leadership in bringing our membership together as public intellectuals supporting our need to give voice and advocacy to the our work in teacher education and in supporting the professionalization of the teaching profession. Thank you to Karen! Our new website is also a product of Dr. Jenlink’s exemplary leadership that gives us ways to better connect our organization to our members and future members.
Highlights from our Las Vegas conference are provided in our events and meeting section of the website. In case you missed it you can access the profiles of our keynotes:
- Ted Celeste – National Institute for Civil Discourse;
- David Seidel – Deputy Education Director for Elementary and Secondary Education, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA;
- Rod Lucero – Vice President for Member Engagement and Support – American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; and
- Nathalia Jaramillo, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Deputy Diversity Officer at Kennesaw State University.
Each speaker modeled for us how to engage in public discourse and as Ted Celeste informed us “break down the walls through discourse to help people with different views find common ground”. Rod Lucero broke down the walls that separate our discourse with regard to teacher education pedagogy especially with regard to clinical practice calling for our need to embrace a “common lexicon”. David Seidel reminded us that we are living in a time of culture change negotiating tensions between our “represented democracy” and “true” democracy. “True” democracy is realized when our citizens embrace through their actions and orientations to others respect, acceptance of diversity, finding common ground on diverse viewpoints, and civility in our discourse. Our education focus has been on testing and assessments of content knowledge. We have put aside and marginalized citizenship education which focuses teaching the democratic values America was founded on. We should be teaching our children about what it means to live in a democracy and the rights it affords to all people regardless of their diverse backgrounds and views. And most importantly we should be modeling in our teaching ways for individuals to engage in civil discourse and debate. Ted Celeste calls for us to “Revive Civility” – a mutual respect for one another and ability to listen with the purpose of understanding another’s viewpoint. Let us take this message to teach our teacher candidates and model it for them so they can carry it forward in their own teaching.
The conversations that took place during our conference were in many respects focused on the news about the latest gun violence that took place in Florida over Valentine’s Day. In fact, the ATE Delegate Assembly voted on a new resolution calling for repeal of the Dickey Amendment that limits funding of research on school violence. In his keynote, David Seidel instilled further dialog about the proliferation of school violence in our nation’s schools and the need to make it known how these tragic events change the culture of schools and impact academic performance. His call urges us to respond differently; “not move the educational environment aside” and understand the importance of science education as a way forward in understanding our world, our health, our values and range of beliefs. Nathalia Jaramillo further pushed us in understanding our important role in “enacting” Democracy and how teachers can negotiate the space to instill democratic values in the classroom that push beyond acceptance of individual and collective rights to a global perspective that examines all the things that are impacting education. She calls for a “shift” from thinking about others to engaging in dialog with them. She shared her definition of “living well” – through reciprocity – a cultural form of social process that includes all members of the community. Let ATE be that kind of “living well” community.
Patricia Sari Tate
Patricia Sari Tate
ATE President (2018-2019)