A Centre for Innovation in Teacher Education and Development – CITED

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!

The Week of ‘The Landscape for Preparing Teacher Educators’

At Teachers’ College, November 2014

It was a real privilege to spend the week at Teachers’ College as guest of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching and a Sachs lecturer in the colloquium The Landscape for Preparing Teacher Educators.

The bust of John Dewey in the main hall of Teachers College
The bust of John Dewey in the main hall of Teachers College

One of my favourite parts of the week were the many conversations I had with faculty and doctoral students over breakfasts and lunches. (To be clear, it was the conversation that was the favourite part rather than the breakfasts and lunches, as nice as they were.) I also enjoyed teaching some classes – a doctoral class on curriculum theory and a mixed doctoral/master’s class on qualitative research methodology and a doctoral seminar on my book (with Jane), Transforming Teacher Education. And then the dinners – two stand-out meals: one at an Italian about two blocks north of TC and another at soul-food-scandi fusion restaurant in Harlem.

Milbank Chapel, Teachers College - venue for the colloquium lecture series
Milbank Chapel, Teachers College – venue for the colloquium lecture series

My public lecture on the Tuesday evening took place in the Milbank Chapel and was a full-house. I spoke for about an hour and then there was about 30 minutes questions. Even though I was horribly jet-lagged by then, it was very enjoyable and people were generous and kind. Cruelly, the TC people recorded it and it is available to view below. Next time I will demand a trailer and a Oscar-winning cinematographer 😉

During my trip, I also managed to meet up with Dr Lila McDowell who now teaches at John Jay College of the City University of New York. John Jay is a specialist college focusing on justice and Lila was teaching an introductory criminology course. It was great to be part of her class and meet her students. The last guest in her class was an FBI agent and then they got some random Brit.

Educating for Justice - the theme of CUNY's John Jay College
Educating for Justice – the theme of CUNY’s John Jay College

It was an honour to be invited to TC and to be a part of the Department and the College for a week. I learned a huge amount and even got to visit a school on the Friday afternoon. An honour – and a fantastic experience. Thank you.