MACTE - Michigan
Friday, January 18, 2019

In the spirit of their inspiration, the theme of the first annual MACTE EDTalks was communication. At the 2014 Fall Conference, teacher education professionals took the spotlight for six minute speeches about topics of concern in regards to teacher education, from the creation of new programs to upgrading old ones, and a few items in between.

Jennifer Lewis, associate dean of the School of Education at Wayne State University, presented on Wayne’s new teacher education program called TeachDETROIT, a surgically specific approach to education that trains candidates - both undergrads and postgrads alike - to work solely and effectively in Detroit schools.

“We are training teachers specifically to teach in Detroit Schools. Not to teach in Monroe or West Bloomfield or in Grand Rapids - just Detroit,” Lewis said. “We think they need specialized training to appreciate the resources and strengths Detroit kids bring to school, but also to contend with the challenges of working high poverty schools with people of color.”


Read the full article about her talk here.

Joe Lubig, associate dean of the school of education at Northern Michigan University, discussed recent renovations to the NMU teacher prep program. In a nutshell, the program is focusing on providing students more realistic experiences that prepare them for the day-to-day requirements of teaching in a grounded manner, including an emphasis on reflection and data interpretation.

“The whole thing kind of stems from this idea that we should be giving our teacher candidates the same experiences that we say their K-12 students should have,” Lubig said. “We are kind of hypocritical if we don't take that risk and identify real-world audiences and connect theory to practice. We empower them to do things that we need educators to do, which shouldn't be different from what we do as professors in our program in teaching.”


Read the full article about his talk here.


Leah Breen, Director of the Office of Professional Preparation Services at Michigan Department of Education, used her EDTalk platform to discuss the problem of what she deems low-effective assessments in K-12 classrooms across the state. She recommends a conversation between teacher educators, teachers and administrators about what quality assessments look like and who should be responsible for vetting them.

“Maybe it’s time we look at the standards we require in preparation for data use and data literacy and see if we need to make some additions,” Breen said.


Read the full article about her talk here.


Donna Fiebelkorn, Assistant Dean of the school of education at Lake Superior State University, told a resurrection story. From “satisfactory” to “at risk” and finally “low performing,” LSSU’s school of education was at the brink before new leadership reinvigorated the program, according to Fiebelkorn. After detailing a number of interventions, she advised other programs to foster a growth mindset when it comes to criticism.

“Take the opportunity of feedback and challenge not as criticism but as an opportunity for improvement,” Fiebelkorn said. “The report card we got may not have been very meaningful, but it did give us info about who we are, and it was an impetus for change.”


Read the full article about her talk here.

Lastly, Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, professor and Dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Central Michigan University, discussed recent revisions to the teacher education program at CMU by way of the 2023 Educational Task Force, a dynamic collection of faculty tasked with revising the program. Since 2013, they’ve consolidated courses to shorten the time students must spend in the program while maximizing student yield and added more emphasis to technology and multicultural training.
Read the full article about her talk here.