Welcome to the ELATE (formerly CEE) Commission on Social Justice in Teacher Education Programs website.
A note from our commission co-chairs: Our world has changed significantly over the past months. We are all experiencing a new way of living during COVID-19. Many of us are balancing family responsibilities along with work. Some of us, or our partners, have lost jobs. Some of us are grieving the people who have not survived this illness. We are anxious about not knowing how our future work and school will function.
We are writing this note to you with sadness and a demand for justice for the Floyd family, as well as the families of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and all people impacted by police brutality. We stand with NCTE’s recent stance against racism that “denounces all forms of racial violence and brutality.” As an ELATE group that focuses on social justice, we are sure that many of you are engaged in the work of seeking justice and are standing in solidarity with the recent protests and demonstrations. We recognize the deep pain and exhaustion that people of color are experiencing and we hold on to the belief that this work will result in healing and justice. That sentiment reminds us of a quote from Chris Lebron’s book The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea in which he says: “Saying that black lives matter is a claim on the sentiments and sensibilities of all Americans. It represents the hope that if we bear witness, and bear it truly, we can see how important it is that we love each other and ourselves.”
As educators, we have the ability to work with teachers and children in ways that advocate for the healing and justice that we need. We thought that it would be helpful to provide a space for people to share resources that they have found to be helpful. We’ve listed a few and plan to keep adding, but please add to them as you see fit (on the Google Document).
ABOUT US: The English Language Arts Teacher Educators (ELATE, formerly CEE) serves members of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) who educate teacher candidates and teachers in English language arts/literacy. The ELATE Commission on Social Justice in Teacher Education Programs’s work is grounded in the belief that it is impossible to make sense of the field of English language arts without using gender, race, and class (among others) as central categories of description and analysis. This belief connects with our vision of what Moje (2007) has called a “social justice pedagogy,” a distinction from a socially-just pedagogy that seeks to ensure that all people to have opportunities to learn. A “social justice pedagogy” necessarily involves a critique of what people are learning (i.e., a critique of the broader fields and institutional arrangements that structure and produce such knowledge). As social justice teacher educators and teachers, our goal is to develop and uncover models of teaching that are flexible enough to capture and reflect the ways identities, structures and material conditions function together; to determine how teachers in English language arts see themselves and others; and to delineate the opportunities for transformation, constructive growth, and change in and through our profession.
Our current projects include expanding opportunities for social justice teacher education through CAEP Standard VI and exploring meaningful, high equity, and high excellence forms of both K-12 and teacher education. This website serves as a space for teacher educators, teacher candidates, and current teachers to share and discuss resources that can support our ongoing work for social justice. Welcome to the dialogue.
- Congratulations to all those who worked to get our Resolution on edTPA on the ballot at #NCTE16 in Atlanta, GA. Passing with an unanimous vote at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual business meeting, this resolution states that “high-stakes teacher candidate performance assessments are a serious and imminent threat…to the teaching profession.” We believe that it is vital that our organizations represent educators, support work for a participatory and democratic society, and support meaningful assessment and accountability in our profession. To learn more about this issue, here are testimonies from some of our commission members who spoke in support of this resolution.
- The resolution was ratified by the membership of NCTE in late March 2017, and is now NCTE’s official position. This supports our ongoing work, for “when a resolution is ratified it signals to members and the wider education community that these issues are top concerns…a resolution is a tool you can use as an educator to advocate for these issues, knowing you have the backing of a national organization in your stance” (NCTE’s position statements).