In 2013, the Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs (CAEP) accepted NCTE-created Standard VI that addresses social justice (for more on this, see Alsup & Miller, 2014 and “The Commission for Social Justice: A history of its realization 2003-2010”). Standard VI reads as follows:
Standard VI: Candidates demonstrate knowledge of how theories and research about social justice, diversity, equity, student identities, and schools as institutions can enhance students’ opportunities to learn in English Language Arts.
Element 1: Candidates plan and implement English language arts and literacy instruction that promotes social justice and critical engagement with complex issues related to maintaining a diverse, inclusive, equitable society.
Element 2: Candidates use knowledge of theories and research to plan instruction responsive to students’ local, national and international histories, individual identities (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender expression, age, appearance, ability, spiritual belief, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and community environment), and languages/dialects as they affect students’ opportunities to learn in ELA. (CAEP, 2013; NCTE, 2012)
- NCTE. (2012). NCTE/NCATE standards for initial preparation of teachers of secondary English language arts, grades 7–12. Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/ library/NCTEFiles/Groups/CEE/NCATE/ApprovedStandards_111212.pdf
- CAEP (2013). The Council for the Accreditation for Teacher Preparation Standards. Retrieved from http://caepnet.org/standards/introduction
Past leaders in our commission were instrumental to the creation of this standard, and we continue the work of ensuring that it activated in meaningful ways. Because we do not want to see this important work standardized (we believe in standards without standardization), reified, or reduced to a perfunctory checklist, and because we believe that this standard must be activated in ways that connect with local communities, meanings, and struggles, we encourage dialogue around the best ways to activate the standard in teacher education and practice. To begin this dialogue, we offer exemplars of what teacher educators across the country are doing to engage social justice pedagogies in their programs. Please see our exemplars to join in on the discussions of how we might use these models as a starting point and adapt them to both local and national contexts and struggles.