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Teacher education efforts earn national award

March 05, 2007

ASU's College of Teacher Education and Leadership has a long-standing commitment to Arizona's education community through a variety of collaborations, outreach and programs. For its commitment, the college received a “Best Practice Award for Effective Partnerships” by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). ASU was honored at AACTE's 59th annual meeting and exhibits in New York.

The award recognizes ASU's outstanding partnership collaboration among schools, colleges and departments of education, local schools or school districts and other community entities that have demonstrated measurable contributions to the achievement and learning of prekindergarten through 12th-grade students.

“The work that our members do with P-12 schools is critical to the success of our programs,” said Sharon Robinson, AACTE's president and chief executive officer, in presenting the award to Mari Koerner, dean of the College of Teacher Education and Leadership. “Candidates in our teacher and leadership development programs must practice the skills required by the curriculum, culture and learning needs of our most important clients, the P-12 students. Diversity in such clinical experiences enhances competence and confidence that our candidates are ready for the real world of work in their profession.

“Arizona State University has developed a strong bridge between the College of Teacher Education and Leadership and many local K-12 schools. As a result, student learning in its partner schools is increasing, and our future professionals know that they can do the work of supporting learning.”

Through its partnerships with pre-K-12 schools, the College of Teacher Education and Leadership works closely with schools to provide best practices in teacher preparation. Students observe master teachers in the classroom; complete ASU coursework assignments; experience a variety of philosophies, strategies and student populations; and become more aware of the many responsibilities and skills required of teachers.

“Social embeddedness and community engagement are key principles we use in designing programs at Arizona State University,” says ASU President Michael Crow. “This recognition by AACTE for our contributions to the local community through education acknowledges both the value of these design principles and our success in using them.

“The community-based teacher preparation model used by our College of Teacher Education and Leadership is a prime example of the positive impact on both parties that occurs when university and community come together. We are honored and appreciative of the recognition, and we will continue to expand and improve our partnerships established through the college.”

In addition to its award-winning Professional Development School program, which counts seven partner school districts across Arizona, the College of Teacher Education and Leadership has established many collaborations with an eye on working with schools to improve education.

“We are a college that focuses on partnerships,” Koerner says. “Our efforts – and the partnerships we have created – are centered on making a difference in the community through education. These partnerships have influenced so many students, future teachers and practicing teachers. The value is proven on a daily basis. To be recognized by AACTE because of the partnerships we have created is very rewarding.”

AACTE, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a national, voluntary association of colleges and universities with undergraduate or graduate programs to prepare professional educators. AACTE member institutions graduate about 90 percent of the nation's new teachers and other educators each year.