AACTE 69th Annual Meeting

AACTE holds its Annual Meeting, the premier educator preparation conference in the nation, in late February/early March each year. The Annual Meeting provides a forum for educators to engage in meaningful discussions, share research and practices, and become better equipped to drive change in the educator preparation field. Join the nationwide conversation on educator preparation’s future, while connecting with over 2,000 education leaders and suppliers, and let us help you achieve your most ambitious goals by attending our Annual Meeting.

The 69th Annual Meeting will be held March 2-4, 2017, in Tampa, Florida. Sessions will be based in a convention center, supported by several nearby hotels. Details about registration, lodging, sponsor/exhibitor opportunities, and more will be available in August 2016.

Conference Content

Conference Theme and Strands


Acting as One: The Power of the Professional Community

The imperative to improve outcomes for our nation’s increasingly diverse learners demands the support of a unified professional community. Whether we are classroom teachers, teacher educators, superintendents, researchers, or in any other role in education, we all work in service of the same ultimate goals—€”yet we often get caught up in our own roles to the exclusion of others in the field. When we fail to think and act as a unified community, we risk developing conflicting practices and values, which holds us all back. But when we identify as one, we realize remarkable dividends academically, politically, and professionally.

To understand the power of collaboration across traditional boundaries, we might look to the Teacher Quality Partnerships, or to the professional development schools that have been uniting various players in education—€”for more than 20 years, in some cases—€”for mutual support and benefit. By engaging all colleagues across the halls of academe, PK-12 classrooms, and beyond, we are empowered to develop and build upon a shared knowledge base and achieve greater progress on the problems of practice.

As a community, we can develop a robust career pipeline for teachers: recruiting strong candidates, focusing the preservice curriculum on effective pedagogy, securing placements in engaged clinical and community sites, supporting new teachers in induction programs, and developing and strategically deploying teacher leaders. As a community, we can determine how to recognize and reward the work of clinically based faculty, as well as how to better incorporate their experiences and lessons into the profession’s knowledge base. As a community, we can invite input on our work-in-progress and nurture a culture of continuous improvement through collegial feedback and knowledge-sharing. This is the power of a unified professional community.

To accomplish this work, educator preparation must cultivate relationships that break down silos internally and externally. Clinical partnerships, engagement with colleagues across disciplines, and collaboration with service professions must become the norm. However, to elevate these relationships beyond the superficial, we must be willing to face difficult conversations and other obstacles. A shared commitment to transparency and accountability is a fundamental requirement for navigating the dynamic tensions of partnerships.

Building a broad-based professional community in local settings is not easily done, but by sharing our stumbles and successes, we can improve as a larger community. The 69th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education will bring the profession together to do just that. Together, we will cultivate our common understanding in four key areas: community engagement on problems of practice; the knowledge base on advancing teaching and learning; practices that increase access and equity for all learners; and ways to gauge our impact for accountability and program improvement purposes.

Proposals are invited to address the following strands:

Strand I – The Knowledge Base for Teaching and Learning

All members of a professional community need to be explicit about acting on and continuously building shared knowledge. In education, no matter where we teach, we all should be drawing on the same evidence base for effective pedagogy. What does this knowledge base look like? How do we foster its growth, and how do we engage all educators in its development and deployment?

The purpose of this strand is to focus on innovations and inquiry in teaching, models of effective instruction, and the roles of partners and improvement mechanisms in knowledge production.

Proposals in this strand are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions:

  • What is the evidence for the effectiveness of instructional innovations across different subjects, student characteristics, and levels?
  • How do you incorporate key findings from neuroscience, psychology, and other disciplines to influence the curriculum in educator preparation?
  • What skills do your candidates develop, and how are they documented, regarding accessing and contributing to our shared knowledge base?
  • How does your program model effective pedagogy and content-specific pedagogy for your candidates, including collaboration with colleagues in other disciplines?
  • What new models support the collaborative development of professional knowledge (e.g., special interest groups, Networked Improvement Communities, online collaboration) and how do they fit or conflict with traditional models (e.g., peer-reviewed journals)?
  • How has a focus on teaching and learning promoted research and scholarship on your campus?

Strand II – Community Engagement on Problems of Practice

Engaging the community beyond the college of education walls is essential to unifying the profession. New partnerships thrive with a shared sense of urgency and recognition of mutual interest. These partnerships span university colleagues outside of educator preparation, PK-12 schools and districts, virtual instructional settings, professional educational and community organizations, and peer institutions around the state or beyond. Traditional boundaries and silos that have inhibited trust and limited cooperative action must be dismantled, and common goals must be established for supporting the next generation of learners.

The purpose of this strand is to examine the partnerships and mechanisms within and outside higher education that promote and support the development of shared knowledge and practice.

Proposals in this strand are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions:

  • How do you engage with community and other professional organizations in the preparation of your candidates, and what are some ways in which you have engaged parties that have not typically collaborated with educator preparation programs?
  • Which processes do you use to ensure that voices of multiple stakeholders are considered in program development and improvement?
  • What are the types and purposes of the partnerships (i.e., PK-12, business, community organizations, foundations, government) you have established, and how do they benefit your program and the profession? What challenges have you overcome to enhance existing partnerships or engage new partners?
  • What objectives and outcomes frame MOUs among partners, such as those that support aspiring teachers and the induction of new teachers?
  • What are the difficult conversations you have engaged in that resulted in program improvement?
  • What is the evidence that partnerships have made a difference in the preparation of your teacher candidates and teacher leaders?

Strand III – Social Responsibility: Access and Equity

In light of the increasingly diverse student population and persistent inequities in their access to educational opportunities, we need to collaborate across the education profession to reconsider the implications of serving all learners for what educators need to learn and be able to do. How do we develop and recognize these abilities, and how do we deploy them strategically in the field? Cultural competence among all educators is a pedagogical imperative, for example, and today’s inclusive classrooms demand that general educators be prepared in special education as well.

The purpose of this strand is to document specific evidence from programs, practices, and interdisciplinary innovations that increase educators’ preparedness for meeting the needs of all learners.

Proposals in this strand are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions:

  • How do you strengthen candidates’ competence to address access and equity issues (e.g., teaching students from diverse linguistic, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds)?
  • How do special and general educators collaborate to meet the needs of all students, and what competencies must all teachers have to work with students with disabilities in inclusive settings?
  • How do content-area courses and field work prepare candidates to address the academic difficulties and cultural disconnects encountered by PK-12 students?
  • How are you preparing your candidates to serve as advocates for greater justice, equity, and inclusion of all students?
  • What are examples of effective programs and practices to increase the diversity of educator candidates?
  • Excluding clinical practice/internships, how does your program prepare candidates to engage with, empower, and strengthen community sustainability? What is the evidence of these efforts’ effectiveness and impact?

Strand IV – Continuous Improvement and Accountability

As members of the professional community evaluate their own work and share findings in the field, we each have the responsibility to contribute to each other’s improvement as well as uphold our own work’s professional integrity. For educator preparation programs to gauge teacher candidates’ impact in practice, for example, we need common understanding with mentors and faculty in clinical settings around performance standards and measurements, grounded in shared ethical values and a shared responsibility for the outcomes. We also benefit from action research and other feedback from the field on our programs and graduates, and we are responsible for acting on that evidence for continuous improvement. For external accountability to governmental or accreditation agencies, our united professional perspective has obvious benefits.

The purpose of this strand is to explore measures of programs’ impact on PK-12 students, teachers’ perceptions of their professional preparation, and shared values and practices related to continuous improvement and accountability.

Proposals in this strand are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions:

  • What measures and methods do you use to document impact and inform improvement, in your own programs and in your partnerships? What ethical values undergird this work?
  • How do you engage the professional community (partner schools, graduates, peer institutions) to assess your programs’ effectiveness, and how do you support one another as partners for continuous improvement?
  • How do you communicate transparently across programs, with policy makers, and with other stakeholders?
  • How do you develop common understanding with your partners and agree on roles and responsibilities when it comes to accountability for academic success, program improvement, and effective practice?
  • How and where should the professional community share data on capacity, productivity, and performance of the various actors in education at the local, state, and national levels?
  • How do you use program outcomes, data, and other evidence of effectiveness to promote the profession and your program through public relations, advocacy, and community engagement?
  • What are tensions between state approval or accreditation mechanisms and your program goals and/or outcomes, and how have you navigated these tensions in productive ways?

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Location: Convention Center :: Tampa, FL

Call for Entries: 2017 AACTE Awards

  • Submission Deadline for Outstanding Book Award: June 14, 2016
  • Submission Deadline for Outstanding Dissertation Award: August 16, 2016
  • Submission Deadline for All Other Awards: October 12, 2016

View Call for Entries Submit Online

Award winners will be honored at the 2017 AACTE Annual Meeting, March 2–4 in Tampa, Florida, during the general sessions.

See What You Missed in 2016

Visit the Learning Center to watch video recordings from previous Annual Meetings. Welcome Sessions and Speaker Spotlight Sessions are public, while other recordings are available only to conference registrants.

AACTE News16
See What you Missed
Pedro Noguera
Pedro Noguera
Town Hall
Town Hall Meeting
Speaker Spotlight
Speaker Spotlight

Future Annual Meetings

  • 2017 - March 2-4, Tampa Convention Center | Tampa, FL
  • 2018 - March 1-3, Baltimore Convention Center | Baltimore, MD
  • 2019 – February 22-24, Kentucky International Convention Center | Louisville, KY
  • 2020 – February 28 – March 1, Atlanta Marriott Marquis | Atlanta, GA

Annual Meeting Highlights