Ball State’s 2018 Summer Institute on Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation surpassed our expectations in gathering a diverse, international group of teacher educators, administrators, and school and community partners to further knowledge, skill, and a collective commitment to the innovative paradigm of community-engaged teacher preparation as a means through which to ensure an equitable and socially-just education for all children. Begun with a dynamic keynote presentation by returning speaker Wilisha Scaife and followed with break out sessions exploring multiple configurations of community-engaged teacher preparation in various community contexts, participants were encouraged to creatively consider how they might more authentically embed their programs of teacher preparation in the communities in which their universities are situated. Accompanied by their school and community partners, the possibilities were made even more robust, and the potential for truly collaborative partnerships emerged as the outcome of our three days spent together. We give thanks and honor to our cadre of community mentors who shared their wisdom and expertise with program participants, and who welcomed conference attendees to a special dinner in the Whitely neighborhood. As we launch into our second decade of this work at Ball State University, we are ever mindful of the generosity and hospitality with which we have been welcomed into this work alongside our community colleagues. We are ever aware that this work would not be possible absent their dedication to the development of culturally responsive teachers, and we remain extraordinarily grateful for their time, talent, and tireless commitment.
On May 15-17, 2017, forty-six faculty, administration, teachers, and community mentors from over 17 different institutions across the country convened on Ball State’s campus for the third annual Summer Institute for Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation.
During the Summer Institute, teacher educators and their school and community partners attended training conducted by Ball State faculty, other prominent national scholars in the field of community-engaged teacher education, graduates of Ball State, and our community partners.
Teacher educators learned about the Schools Within the Context of Community program (SCC). Started in 2009, the Schools Within the Context of Community program is a unique approach to preparing culturally responsive, community-engaged teachers. Summer Institute attendees learned how to design and refine their models of teacher preparation to make them more community engaged in order to prepare community-engaged teachers who can implement culturally relevant instruction, help lessen the achievement gap, and improve educational equity for children.
We invited attendees into our space to share with us what they were currently doing, and we will mentor them in their journey to become more effective in their community-engaged teacher preparation efforts in their own communities and universities. As we connect, mentor, and learn from each other, we are creating a national community of scholars and scholarship around community-engaged teacher preparation.