We believe in children.
- Children are capable thinkers and doers who must be taken seriously and treated respectfully.
- The education system has the power to either undermine the dignity of children, or to recognize and reinforce their full humanity.
- This power is applied primarily through teaching, but educators need ongoing support and collaborative opportunities to fully realize and apply their potential.
We believe children experience schooling through what teachers do.
- Beliefs and actions are entwined in effective teaching practices – including elicitation, discussion, explanation, assessment, and so on. While we know that teachers’ beliefs and orientations are essential, they are insufficient without an explicit focus on their instructional practices.
- As teacher educators, we must ensure that new teachers possess practices and dispositions to disrupt inequities in schools and classrooms.
We believe the primary purpose of teacher education must be supporting a just educational experience for all students.
- Teacher preparation programs have traditionally spent too much time reading, talking, and writing about teaching, to the detriment of teaching teacher candidates how to teach.
- Justice in teacher preparation is typically disconnected from the development of teaching practice.
- Teacher preparation has thus tended to ignore or reproduce inequities, when it needs to be focused on transforming classrooms into just, equitable, and safe places for children and learning.
We believe that striving for equity is critical, while recognizing that our identities can interfere with our work.
- We acknowledge that we are mostly white teacher educators with limited experiences of racialized injustice. We are therefore fully committed to:
- Continuously identifying and questioning the implications of our racialized identities for our work, including monitoring and constraining our tendencies toward policies and procedures representing normative, white approaches.
- Hiring a diverse, talented, and experienced staff in an organization where individuals are committed to the mission and respected for expressing diverse opinions, ways of working, and ways of knowing.
- The majority of teacher educators in the United States are also white, and we must act as co-conspirators with and through them to make meaningful and sustained progress.
We believe in critically examining ourselves and our actions.
- We continuously ask ourselves: What are the harms that we have committed and continue to perpetuate toward children and others? How can we minimize such behavior and its impacts, or eliminate them altogether?
- We continuously ask of teacher education: How can we prepare teachers to avoid repeating the harms we have experienced and enacted?
- We take a humble posture toward our own expertise and desire to learn from and hold each other accountable for continuous, professional and personal growth. We are also committed to giving others the space, time, and support necessary to make and learn from the many mistakes we have made.
We believe that we will make progress as an education system when we – as individuals and institutions across the enterprise – work collaboratively, not competitively.
We welcome critique and feedback for improvement only.