BranchED Bulletin | December 2021

In this issue - click below to read more: 



Register for upcoming workshops, webinars, and other learning opportunities

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Praxis of Recognition

February 2, 2022 | 12 - 1 p.m. CST | Virtual 

This webinar features Dr. Louie Rodriguez, who will discuss the concept of recognition, a conceptual framework to be applied to curricular and pedagogical experiences of Latina/o youth that seek to raise students’ consciousness through critical thinking and dialogue.


About the Speaker:

Dr. Louie F. Rodríguez is the Interim Dean and Professor and holds the Bank of America Chair in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Practice in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California Riverside. He is also the Founding Director of the Center for Educational Transformation at UCR. He completed two master’s degrees and a doctorate in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to UCR, he was an associate professor in Educational Leadership and Technology and Co-Director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) and was also on the faculty at Florida International University for three years. His research examines issues in Latina/o/x education, Participatory Action Research, student voice, and educational equity.


SPRING WORKSHOP: Pedagogical Partnerships

February 8, 2022 | 12 - 2 p.m. CST | Virtual

Our spring workshop titled How Pedagogical Partnership Can Inform and Support Inclusive Instruction features which Dr. Alison Cook-Sather is taking place on February 8th and 9th from 12:00-2:00 CST (1:00-3:00 EST | 10:00-12:00 PST). Pedagogical partnerships are predicated on the belief that “Students have valuable knowledge of and important perspectives on teaching and learning.” Dr. Cook-Sather is a leading expert in pedagogical partnerships and has significantly contributed to a large body of research on this topic. 

We are inviting teams comprised of a teacher educator and a student partner to take part in the workshop and learn how to implement pedagogical partnership to enhance practice. In addition, participants will have an opportunity to apply to be part of our pedagogical partnership pilot initiative. The call for proposals will be shared during the workshop. 


About the Speaker:

Alison Cook-Sather is Mary Katharine Woodworth Professor of Education at Bryn Mawr College and Director of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. Dr. Cook-Sather has developed internationally recognized programs that position students as pedagogical consultants to college faculty members. She has published over 100 articles and book chapters and given as many keynote addresses, other invited presentations, and papers at refereed conferences on six continents.

See the following to learn more about the power of Pedagogical Partnerships: 

Cook-Sather, A. (2020). Respecting Voices: How the Co-creation of Teaching and Learning Can Support Academic Staff, Underrepresented Students, and Equitable Practices. Higher Education 79 (5),885-901.

Colón García, Ana "Building a Sense of Belonging through Pedagogical Partnership," Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education: Iss. 22 (2017),

Ameyaa, R. A., Cook-Sather, A., Ramo, K., & Tohfa, H. M. (2021). Undergraduate students partnership with staff to develop trauma-informed, anti-racist pedagogical approaches: Intersecting experiences of three student partnersJournal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change, 7(1).


A note to our 2021 presenters and event attendees: Thank you so much for joining us in 2021 for our webinars and workshops. We are proud to share that we had nearly 400 people throughout the year attend our virtual events. We hope that, in 2022, we see even more of you there. 

We encourage you to block the following dates and times on your calendar -- we know how quickly calendars fill up and we don't want you to miss these important conversations! 

We'll see you in 2022.  


Nuts & Bolts Webinar on Innovative Pedagogies: Pathologizing Poverty

Spring Workshop: Inclusive Instruction Rubric for use in Preparation Programs

April 5 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 CT | TBD 

Spring Summit: Diversifying Teacher Preparation Curricula 

April 6 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 CT | VIRTUAL

Nuts & Bolts Webinar on Innovative Pedagogies: Afrocentric Pedagogy 



Learn more about BranchED's educator preparation work

Transformation Center Cohort Member Feature: West Texas A&M University shares about experiential learning in Mexico


Every morning, as they travel down a bumpy road in Mexico near San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato, teacher candidates from West Texas A&M (WTAMU) and other Texas A&M University System universities discuss their planned activities for that day. The teacher candidates hear singing as they pull up to their destination – a welcome song in English coming from young Mexican children.

Both the teacher candidates’ and the young students’ day of learning has begun.

This scene is straight from the A&M System Mexico Education Collaborative, a partnership between public institutions of higher education, a private study and research center in central Mexico, local, regional and national governmental officials and entities, private citizens, and private businesses.

The A&M System partners with the Hacienda Santa Clara Research and Study Center to deliver academic experiences to children outside of San Miguel de Allende.

"The collaborative experience brings our future teachers clearly into the reality of the profession, fully embracing both theory and practice," said Dr. Shonda Gibson,  Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the A&M System. 

Though the initiative tackles many disciplines, BranchED had the opportunity to visit the site in Mexico recently to learn more about the EPP’s focus in San Miguel de Allende.

“The collaboration is just one way West Texas A&M’s EPP is utilizing an existing project to create an innovative practice to ensure teacher candidates have cross cultural experiences,” said Dr. Cassandra Herring, President and CEO of BranchED.

WTAMU’s EPP is a member of the Transformation Center’s second cohort, which launched in early 2021.

“The Collaborative began in 2017 and provides opportunities for the A&M System faculty and students to participate in meaningful, discipline-specific international field experience,” said Dr. Eddie Henderson, Dean of the WTAMU College of Education. “These high-impact learning experiences provide increased clinical and service leadership opportunities for future educators in a culturally, economically, and linguistically diverse community setting.”

Experiential learning experiences also tend to be great for retention, an additional benefit.

“It provides hunger to [learn more],” said Roger Onofro, a graduate assistant who works on the ground in San Miguel de Allende. He traveled with the collaborative as an undergraduate student and has been going back every year since 2017 (with the exception of 2020).

As someone who learned from the program, he’s seen firsthand how other potential teacher candidates can grow.

"Being a part of the Collaborative allows our teacher candidates to put themselves in the shoes of their future students," Onofro said. "These future educators will know what it feels like to be in a whole new environment, and perhaps with very little language skills. This experience gives future teachers and professionals the proficiency to better prepare themselves to enter a diverse setting, whether in the classroom or any other workspace."

Dr. Gibson agrees. 

"The thinking process that goes into it will help our students develop their creativity and their problem solving skills, therefore helping them to be better teachers," she said. "All of these experiential learning experiences are doubly important, as our students return to our home community and are better able to understand and embrace the cultures of their students, which then enables improved teaching and learning."



Read more about our other major organizational announcements

GACTE conference gives BranchED opportunity to share about Modeling Reflective, Equity-Oriented Practices

BranchED recently had the opportunity to travel to the Georgia Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Fall 2021 Conference. 

Our interactive session, called 'Modeling Reflective, Equity-Oriented Practice, gave us the opportunity to interact with educational leaders in person. 

The session provided participants the opportunity to bridge theory with practice by introducing four lenses of critical reflection. 



Tell us your highlights, accomplishments and news.

EdFi Alliance names Texas A&M International University's Dr. James O'Meara 2021 Educator Interoperability Leader of the Year

Congratulations to Dr. James O'Meara for being named EdFi Alliance's Educator Interoperability Leader of the Year. 

EdFi is a nonprofit and community of educators, technologists, and advocates solving the data challenge in education. The award was part of the organization's annual Community Awards. 

This award category was the first of its kind this year and recognizes Dr. O'Meara for leading his team at TAMIU to "successfully stand up the Clinical Experience and Performance Starter Kit, which gave the program the ability to accurately identify areas for program improvements and investment; diagnose and intervene to address candidate needs; and adjust curriculum, course offerings, and field experiences."


Alabama A&M University is featured in local publication for Males of Alabama Education (MALE) Inititative


When Wesley Lindsey first met his fourth grade student, the boy, who is also Black, was reading on a preschool level.

Other teachers had referred the student to special education numerous times and wouldn’t even let him walk in the hallway alone due to behavioral problems.

From fall to spring, Lindsey managed to coach the young boy to nearly a third grade level. The behavior problems stopped, and the student started mimicking Lindsey in the classroom, telling other students to quiet down and do their work.

“He never had someone who was willing to sit down with him and talk him through his problems,” Lindsey said. “Being a Black man, knowing what it feels like to be a Black boy, and just be mad sometimes -- to another person it would seem like he was a threat. But to me… I know how to handle it. I know what this looks like.”

Stock image of a newspaper with the word News.

We want to hear from you

Do you have exciting professional news to share? We want to hear from you! Tell us about your book announcements, professional highlights, accomplishments or stories you'd like to share from your EPP. We'll highlight some of these in future BranchED bulletin. 



A message of hope from BranchED

Wishing you a hopeful holiday season

As we take time to reflect on 2021 we look forward to 2022 with hope. We hope you'll join us at our events. We hope you'll continue to transform your EPP's and we hope to continue to take the journey with you. 


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