But there come times – perhaps this is one of them
Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in June this year, King’s College London and Teachers College, Columbia University are steaming ahead with the development of a new joint Centre for Innovation in Teacher Education and Development – CITED. You can read about the institutional commitment to the aims – and the values – underlying this new initiative here (in terms of Teachers College) and here (in terms of King’s College). What is clear is that the Presidential leadership of both institutions recognises and understands the necessary contribution that research-led, outward-looking universities like TC and King’s can make to the preparation, support and development of the school-teaching profession. And why it is so important right now, at this time, as TC President Susan Fuhrman has put it, when ‘the highly divisive political and social climates in both the U.S. and U.K. make clear that our education systems must do more to keep the path to social justice clear and accessible.’
Our new Centre (or Center, depending on where the keyboard is situated) will support positive change in the way that universities contribute to teacher education and development whilst also studying these processes and providing educational and professional development opportunities for those who do this important and often under-estimated work. Underlying the entire CITED project will be a commitment to working towards educational and social justice in ways that recognise structural, societal inequalities whilst at the same time seeking ways to transform the opportunities and outcomes for all students within the education system. A broader commitment to civic education, the promotion of public dialogue and (President Fuhrman again) ‘an unshakeable commitment to confront prejudice and discrimination’ underpins all our plans.
Co-directed by TC Professor Mariana Souto-Manning and myself, CITED will be launched in the Spring next year and our programme will begin in earnest in September 2018. We will be working on-line as well as face-to-face in London and in New York and, eventually, our plans reach right up to the doctoral level. We are planning for bursaries and scholarships to support students and colleagues who need them. Much more information will be available in the next couple of months. Watch this space – and other ones too!