IU School of Education dean part of Aspen Institute program on teacher preparation
Indiana University School of Education Dean Gerardo Gonzalez is an invited participant in an Aspen Institute program Friday, Nov. 16, in Washington, D.C., focused on how institutions prepare new teachers. "The Missions and Roles of Teacher Preparation Programs" is a program of the Aspen Institute's Senior Congressional Education Staff Network. Gonzalez will be a part of the day's second session, focused on the mission of teacher preparation programs.
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, describing its mission as "to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues." The organization founded the Senior Congressional Education Staff Network in 2005 as a venue for key congressional education committee staff to learn more about education policy and practice. The Senior Congressional Education Staff Network is part of the larger Aspen Institute Education and Society Program designed to share information with local, state and federal policymakers about how they can improve school systems for poor and minority students.
"I am honored to have been invited to serve as a member of the faculty for this highly regarded and influential institute," Gonzalez said. "This year's program will be addressing some of the most pressing policy questions about the role of teacher preparation in school reform. The fact that we are one of just two institutions selected to bring the perspective of a major research university on these questions speaks volumes about the reputation and high esteem in which the IU School of Education is held nationally."
Gonzalez's panel will address the issues of accountability for teacher preparation programs, faculty quality and assessing outcomes to ensure teacher effectiveness. He will discuss his view with Meredith Curley, dean of the College of Education at the University of Phoenix, and Patricia Welch, dean of the School of Education and Urban Studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore.
"I applaud the organizers of the institute for recognizing that in this country teachers are prepared in highly diverse institutions with different missions," Gonzalez said. "Policymakers need to take into account the diversity of institutions that prepare teachers in order to formulate effective policies. Not every policy will affect every institution in the same way. Thus, listening to these multiple institutional perspectives is an important element of good policy development."
Other sessions at the Aspen Institute program focus on preparing teachers for 21st-century success and what types of people should be recruited as teachers. Chancellor of the California State University System Charles Reed will start the day with a discussion on the role of state and federal policy in teacher preparation program quality and accountability.
Gonzalez became dean of the IU School of Education in July, 2000. Under his leadership, the school has earned a reputation as one of the country's elite education programs. Of 280 doctoral-granting education programs surveyed by U.S. News & World Report for 2012, IU ranked among the top 10 percent of public and private institutions known for the quality of their education programs. U.S. News ranks the IU School of Education 21st nationally, with programs in curriculum and instruction, elementary education, counseling and personnel services, and higher education administration among the top 10 individually ranked programs.