The AMTE election results are in! The new officers will assume their AMTE positions on the Board of Directors at the conclusion of the 2018 Annual Conference in Houston this February. A brief introduction to our new officers is provided below. Their full biographical statements can be found on the AMTE website. Once again, congratulations, and thank you to the Nominations and Elections Committee for their service to AMTE!
President-Elect (1-year term; serve 4 years in total): Michael Steele, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
The membership has elected Michael Steele, an Associate Professor at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, as the President Elect. In his bio, Michael writes about his priorities for AMTE:
- The publication of the AMTE Standards for Preparing Teachers of Mathematics was an historic watershed moment for our association. I believe that our first goal for the next several years for AMTE should be to support our membership, as well as mathematics teacher educators who may not currently be our members, in implementing the standards. Achieving this goal would involve supporting mathematics teacher educators in thinking about how to evolve their courses, programs, and policies to more robustly address the vision of a well-prepared beginning teacher that is described in Standards. Meeting this goal would also suggest the need for discussion of best practices across programs, further elaborations and illustrations of the Standards in action, and fostering a research agenda among AMTE members to study aspects of the implementation of the Standards across multiple and varied teacher preparation contexts. Movement towards this goal would substantively involve the new Professional Learning Division of AMTE to coordinate and support a multi-modal set of learning experiences for members. These experiences may include webinars about aspects of the Standards and their implementation, calls for research and commentary articles describing Standards implementation, an ongoing focus on the Standards in Annual Conference presentations, support for affiliates in engaging their membership around the Standards, and additional smaller-scale in-person learning opportunities for members to dig more deeply into the Standards and discuss implementation strategies and candidate outcomes. AMTE must learn from the lessons of their sibling organizations over the years of both more and less successful rollouts of standards documents and strive to position Standards for the best chance of meaningful integration into the work of preparing teachers of mathematics. This is, without question, an ambitious goal that would unfold over a number of years and require commitment, resources, and broad collaboration. But I believe it is a critical goal for the future of AMTE’s work.
- The field of mathematics education faces a number of challenges at this moment of time in the broader societal and policy environment. At present, mathematics teachers (and teachers in general) are a predominantly White, middle-class population. Rhetoric over the past decade has increasingly sought to de-professionalize the work of teaching, putting increased strain on a system and population that desperately needed to diversify its ranks. A second goal that I envision for AMTE is to meaningfully undertake a public relations campaign with the aim of re-professionalizing the work of teaching and specifically attracting a more diverse mathematics teacher workforce. Such a campaign would have the greatest probability of success as a partnership between mathematics education organizations such as NCTM, AMTE, TODOS, the Benjamin Banneker Association, MAA, and AMS. The campaign would have two main thrusts: to portray the work of teaching mathematics as an honorable profession vital to the future of our society, and to specifically target historically marginalized populations that are underrepresented in mathematics teaching. AMTE’s role in such a campaign would be to shape messaging related to the rigor of mathematics teacher preparation at all levels and to convert our research-based understandings of the knowledge needed for teaching mathematics into meaningful messages for the public. The membership of AMTE would then be engaged in making use of campaign materials to aggressively recruit and retain more, and more diverse, teachers of mathematics through university-based work and partnerships with school districts to strengthen the PK-12–to–teaching pipeline. There are many pieces already in place for such a campaign, most notably the work of W. Gary Martin, Howard Gobstein, and Ed Dickey (among others) in the context of the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership. The messaging in such a campaign must be meaningfully different from previous work in the field, integrating narrative about what it means to know, do, and teach mathematics from the non-White perspective.
- A third goal that connects the previous two is for AMTE to pursue greater visibility in advocacy for public policy related to mathematics teacher education. Since our humble beginnings in 1991, AMTE has grown significantly and is an emerging voice in the national discussion about mathematics education. The reorganization of AMTE in 2016-2017 was an important step in helping the association grow and be more responsive to the needs of its membership. However, AMTE still has much that it could do to amplify calls for stronger policy and more resources related to mathematics teacher education. AMTE is positioned in a unique and strong position to advocate for the knowledge base related to mathematics teacher education in ways that influence public policy. Research briefs that clearly communicate the value of teacher preparation, professional development, and elementary mathematics specialists could be written for public, non-education audiences. Tools could be created and provided for mathematics teacher educators to contact their representatives about teacher education issues, along with calls to action at both the national and state level through AMTE to better mobilize its membership as advocates for sound education policy. A stronger policy track could be created at the Annual Conference (expanding from the fine tradition of the Advocacy Breakfast) that would support the development of policy advocates and leaders within the AMTE membership.
Michael will assume his role on the Board at the close of the 2018 Business meeting, which takes place at the Annual Conference on February 10, 2018. He will serve as a President Elect (2018 – 2019), President (2019 – 2021), and Past President (2021 – 2022). Please join the current AMTE Board members in welcoming Michael to this AMTE leadership position!
Member-at-Large (3-year term): Christa Jackson, Iowa State University
The membership has elected Christa Jackson, an Associate Professor at Iowa State University, to the AMTE Board of Directors as Member-at-Large (3 year term). In her bio, Christa writes about her priorities for AMTE:
- Continually placing issues of equity and social justice at the forefront of AMTE's focus. This goal is critical because it (equity and social justice) is essential in adequately and effectively preparing prospective mathematics teachers. Without foregrounding AMTE's focus in equity and social justice, the work of mathematics teacher educators will be both unproductive and uneventful. Consequently, all students will not have the opportunity to learn challenging mathematics, and the reproduction cycle will continue. Therefore, it is necessary to foreground the preparation of prospective teachers and professional development in equity and social justice when teaching dominant and non-dominant populations.
- Increasing the number of mathematics teacher educators of color in AMTE (membership, etc.) and providing them with resources and supports. This goal is critical because many mathematics teacher educators typically prepare white, middle class prospective teachers whom may not respect mathematics teacher educators of color. The prospective teachers may question their position and credentials. It is necessary to provide support to mathematics teacher educators of color so they can effectively navigate the nuances that occur in the field.
- Providing professional development to mathematics teacher educators that focuses on ways to foreground equity and social justice in preparing prospective mathematics teachers. This is a critical need for mathematics teacher educators because many mathematics teacher educators want to include and ground their instruction in equity and social justice as they prepare their prospective mathematics teachers, but are unsure how to accomplish this task. Since AMTE’s mission is to "promote the improvement of mathematics teacher education, K-12," this goal should be a priority.
Christa will assume her position on the AMTE Board at the close of the 2018 Business meeting, which takes place at the Annual Conference on February 10, 2018. Please join the current AMTE Board members in welcoming Christa to this AMTE leadership position!