GSE program receives national diversity award

The Graduate School of Education (GSE) has been selected as the recipient of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and Southern Poverty Law Center Award for Exemplary Culturally Responsive Teacher Preparation. The award is designed to recognize exemplary teacher preparation programs that use research on culturally responsive pedagogy in powerful learning experiences for teacher candidates.

A panel of reviewers selected the GSE for this honor because of the Bilingual Teacher Pathways (BTP) program, that prepares educational assistants to become much needed bilingual/bicultural licensed teachers in the Portland Metro area. The BTP program is a partnership with local school districts and focuses on effective teaching strategies that work with all students, regardless of their native language and/or culture. GSE dean Randy Hitz emphasizes the importance of the connection between the BTP program and local school districts, “The Bilingual Teacher Pathway program is a great source of pride for the Graduate School of Education and our 19 partner school districts, without whom this program could not exist.”

According to the reviewers, “The curriculum and pedagogy in the BTP program courses model the kind of curriculum and pedagogy teachers should use with students to work toward high expectations of learning. Faculty members also have many recognized published works in culturally responsive pedagogy, suggesting a high level of knowledge among the diverse faculty who teach in the BTP program.”

The special one-time award is part of the AACTE/Southern Poverty Law Center Teaching Diverse Students Initiative (TDSI), that aims to provide research-based online resources for improving the teaching of ethnically and racially diverse students. The award will be presented to the GSE at AACTE’s 64th Annual Meeting February 17, 2012 in Chicago.

Read more and learn about other award winners in the official AACTE press release.

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