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Nov. 16: Education colloquium

Cochran-Smith to discuss teacher preparation for equity, diversity

The University of Delaware’s School of Education (SOE) colloquium continues on Wednesday, Nov. 16, with a presentation on “Teacher Preparation for Equity/Diversity: Challenges and Opportunities” by Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education for Urban Schools at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education.

Beginning at 1 p.m., a series of events will be held in the Ewing Room of the Perkins Student Center.

Although there are many innovative teacher preparation programs, teacher education faces two difficult challenges in reaching equity and diversity goals. The first is to develop programs tuned to local histories and patterns of inequality while responding to larger, complex factors that shape educational opportunities and outcomes.

The second is to develop strategies for the ongoing improvement of programs based on evidence about whether and how programs prepare teachers who engage in equity practices.

Cochran-Smith’s colloquium will address educational inequality and inequity in teacher preparation programs by drawing on her work as a teacher education scholar and practitioner committed to diversity and equity over the last 30 years.

She will focus on four tasks involved in equity-centered teacher education with illustrative examples of each:

• Conceptualizing issues related to diversity and equity and the role of teachers/teacher preparation;

• Defining “practice for equity/diversity” as a major outcome of preparation;

• Designing curricula and program structures that are equity/diversity-centered; and

• Conducting research about equity/diversity-centered preparation and using the results both to improve practice and contribute to theory.

This colloquium is part of this year’s special series titled “Framing the Conversation Towards Engagement and Transformation: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Education and Human Development.”

In an enriched format, the Cochran-Smith’s colloquium will include a professional conversation with faculty and UD community members, additional remarks on the current state of teacher education, and a reception where audience members can engage in conversations with the scholar. 

These conversations will encourage faculty, graduate students, and other audience members to consider how the presenter’s expertise could be applied to the College of Education and Human Development’s efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in teacher education.

All events will be held in the Ewing Room of the Perkins Student Center as follows:

• 1 p.m.: “Teacher Preparation for Equity/Diversity: Challenges and Opportunities” colloquium.

• 2 p.m.: Professional conversation on applying Cochran’s research to the UD context.

• 3:15 p.m.: “Remarks on the Current State of Teacher Education” with question-and-answer session.

• 4:15 p.m.: Reception.

Students, faculty and community members with interests in education, culturally responsive pedagogy, sexual health education and issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion in schools and universities are encouraged to attend. These events are free, and no advance registration or RSVP is required.

About the speaker

Marilyn Cochran-Smith is the Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education for Urban Schools and director of the doctoral program in curriculum and instruction at the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.

A teacher education scholar and practitioner for more than 40 years, Cochran-Smith is widely known for her work about teacher education research, practice and policy, and for her sustained commitment to teacher education and social justice.

Cochran-Smith has written nine books, five of which have won national awards and recognitions, and more than 200 articles, chapters, handbook chapters, and editorials on teacher education research, practice and policy, social justice and practitioner research.

She and Susan Lytle are the founding co-editors of the Teachers College Press book series on Practitioner Inquiry, which now includes 50 books by practitioners or about practitioner research.

In 2014, she received the Distinguished Scholar Lifetime Achievement Award from the Literacy Research Association and was named the 2014 Bjorn Christiansen Memorial Lecturer at the University of Bergen in Bergen, Norway.

She served as president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) from 2004-05 and vice president of AERA’s Division K: Teaching and Teacher Education from 1998-2000.

For more information about Cochran-Smith, visit her website.

These colloquium events are sponsored by the School of Education and the Delaware Center for Teacher Education. For more information about this series, visit the School of Education colloquium series webpage.

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