Ouachita Baptist University recently hosted both the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) Workshop for National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) preparation as well as the Arkansas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (ArACTE) Spring Conference, two events held for educators statewide.
The NCATE workshop, hosted by the Ouachita Teacher Education Program, was held April 8 in OBU’s McClellan Hall and was facilitated by Dr. Alberta Dougan, NCSS consultant from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The purpose of the workshop was to assist teacher education programs in preparing their reports for the NCSS as part of the NCATE accreditation.
“Dr. Dougan explained how to write the report and the kinds of content and data needed to be accredited,” said Dr. Merribeth D. Bruning, dean of Ouachita’s Michael D. Huckabee School of Education.
Participants from eight colleges and universities throughout Arkansas attended the workshop with Dr. Casey Motl, OBU professor of history, serving as master of ceremonies for the opening session.
The following day, April 9, the Huckabee School of Education hosted the ArACTE Spring Conference at DeGray Lake Resort State Park. With more than 100 participants, the conference was a time for various faculty and public school personnel to present their research and education ideas.
Bruning said the conference “keeps us current on research and best practice or wisdom of practice.” She further explained that it “keeps us informed and on the cutting edge of education.”
This year’s conference focused on the theme “Transformational Education.” Participants were greeted in the morning by OBU President Dr. Rex Horne. The session also featured a keynote panel which presented a research report on “Teacher Quality Partnership.”
During the luncheon, there was another panel titled “Voices from the Field,” which was comprised of grade-school educators across the state. Also at the luncheon, Bruning, who is the ArACTE Vice President/President Elect, presented a plaque of appreciation from the ArACTE membership to the outgoing President and OBU alumnus Dr. Judy Harrison, dean of education at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark.
Throughout the day, there were four breakout sessions, each focusing on a different topic, with 17 total lectures offered.
The first session highlighted “The Profession” with speakers from Arkansas State University at Beebe, University of Arkansas at Monticello and University of Central Arkansas. The next session focused on “Leadership Skills for a New Era,” with speakers from UCA as well as OBU educators Dr. Linda Bass, department of education chair, and Kathy Collins, visiting instructor of education, who spoke on “Teacher Leadership: Transformational Leadership Skills for a New Era.” The third session was about “Professionalizing Teaching” with speakers from UAM, UCA, Arkansas State University and Lyon College. The final session was titled “Partnerships and Programs” with speakers from ASU-Beebe, UAM, HSU and UCA.
Also during the final session, Bruning and educators from HSU, Lyon College, Philander-Smith College and Arkansas Baptist College presented a session titled “Partnerships for Preparing Educators for a New Era: Creating Partnerships to Enhance Diversity Experiences.”
“The presentation discussed how two different kinds of institutions are working together to help their teacher education candidates build bridges of understanding,” Bruning said. “Historically black colleges and universities and campuses less racially diverse can assist each other in this task.”
The session featured the OBU and HSU partnership that was begun by HSU President Martin Garrison and OBU President Daniel Grant in the 1970s and is still beneficial to both campuses. It also highlighted new partnership efforts between OBU and ABC, as well as Lyon College and Philander-Smith College.
Bruning and three other Arkansas teacher education faculty also made a presentation on the same subject earlier this year at the national American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education conference held in Atlanta, Ga.
For more information, contact Merribeth Bruning at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5154.
By Rebecca Stone