This newsletter contains the details of the conference in Santa Fe. One of the major topics will be the CED program evaluation manuals. We will provide sufficient time at the conference to discuss these manuals thoroughly, and call for a vote on them at our business meeting. These manuals are not a set of standards, but a compilation of indicators that the program evaluators and the CED Board can use to assist in the evaluation of teacher preparation programs. It is clearly not acceptable to evaluate a program without consideration of the philosophy and assumptions that underlie the program, and these indicators are our first attempt to seriously consider philosophical variations between programs. The program evaluations manuals are attached to the newsletter and I urge each one of you to read these carefully, and be prepared to discuss and vote on them at ou meeting. Paul Crutchfield, Larry Fleischer, and Alan Marvelli will lead the pre conference workshop and they have also scheduled informal meetings for further discussion. Please bring the manuals with you to the meeting.
Please recall that we have two changes to the constitution that needs to be voted on at the business meeting. The proposed changes were published in the October newsletter. Please be sure to study them and be prepared to vote on them at the March meeting.
A special thanks goes to Ruth Fletcher and Judy Egelston-Dodd for putting together a fine conference program. Judy received many good proposals and has enjoyed putting the puzzle pieces together to ensure that we have time both to share our work and to network. Ruth has spent many hours ensuring that the local arrangements are excellent. Attending the ACE-DHH conference is the highlight of the spring semester and always injects me with the enthusiasm to continue to prepare teachers. I return to Tucson with many good ideas that I am impatient to put into practice.
I also want to take the opportunity, in my final message as President, to thank all of you in ACE-DHH. I have been a member of this organization since I was a doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh (and I no longer want to talk about how long ago that was!). I vividly remember the warmth with which I was welcomed and the encouragement I was given to participate. I also remember the confidence such participation gave me while I was a new faculty member. This organization has provided me with a professional home, a group of wonderful colleagues, and a forum to develop and refine ideas about teacher preparation. I know that we will continue to nurture collegiality and be willing to welcome and befriend new members. At the conference, please introduce new colleagues to the rest of us and also make it a point of spending time with new members so that they may feel part of the group.
To end my last President's message, I would like to remind us of what we often take for granted but should not. As many of you know, I grew up in India and came to the U.S. at the age of 21 to attend graduate school. Over the years, I have increasingly come to appreciate my adopted country and the education I was provided here. I thought my "insider-outsider" view on education might provide some food for thought.
For most people in the world, the idea that everyone is entitled to an education is incredible. Here we agonize about the quality of education we provide to our children, and worry about children who are D/HH not receiving an appropriate education. Many of my colleagues and friends in India believe firmly that education should be a privilege, and should be available only to those who can "benefit" from it. Of course, the privilege of defining what kind of benefit and who should benefit is often reserved for the benefited!
As university faculty, we take for granted our ability to develop and change curricula and courses to reflect our new knowledge and pedagogical methods. During my undergraduate career at Calcutta University, the content of the curriculum for all 100,000 students was dictated by the University central examining body. The process of curriculum change was so cumbersome that it occurred infrequently.
Finally, as a graduate student, it was a revelation to me that faculty saw their roles as that of teachers, guides, and mentors. Those of us from Asia and Africa were accustomed to thinking of faculty as lecturers, examiners, and judges. I am not, of course, trying to give you the impression that the education at U.S. and Canadian schools and Universities is perfect, but that we should be cognizant of the fact that, despite Albert Shanker and the test scores, there are many aspects in the educational system that we should celebrate and defend.
Here's to celebration and renewal at Santa Fe.
.........Shirin Antia, President ACE-DHH, 1996