2021 Call For Proposals

Call for Conference Proposals

Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE) 2021 AILACTE Virtual Conference: February 24-26

Deadline for submissions: October 30, 2020 by 11:59 PM.  Submit proposals here: Conference Proposal Submission Form

Theme of Conference:

A Call to Action: Surviving, Thriving and Reimagining the Preparation of Teachers

The field of education has been immutably changed. Over the past year, we have been witnessing the devastation pandemic as a result of COVID-19.  P-12 schools and higher education institutions simultaneously and rapidly redirected their educational delivery methods from face-to-face to online with varying levels of success. These changes highlighted and exacerbated the systemic and structural inequities that exist and persists in our P-16 education system. Economic and racial gaps expanded when school buildings closed. In addition to the trauma inflicted due to illness and loss of employment, disproportionality-impacted student groups (low income, Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students most notably) were not able to access distance education readily available to more affluent and White peers.  P-12 teachers of marginalized students, who already faced challenges connecting with families and accessing necessary resources, had to quickly adapt their practices with little to no preparation.

Institutions of higher education have certainly been adversely impacted by the pandemic as well. The new strategies and practices adopted during the crisis created major stresses on university services and budgets.  Services included equipping and training instructors to teaching entirely online and budgets were stressed due to reimbursing room and board fees for students fleeing campuses along with fears of deep cuts in student enrollments for the 2020-21 academic year.

Additionally, the country rose in anger and disgust at the persistent dehumanization of Black people. Protests and rebellion raged that were catalyzed by the murder of George Floyd and stoked by the flames of the wrongful deaths of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery. There was an immediate call to action in the name of equity and justice to recognize the historic system of oppression that has sustained the White, cisgendered, heterosexist, able-bodied, patriarchy at the expense of those who do not fit those norms. There is an urgent need for the field of education to recognize the role we play in the process of healing the trauma and educating with an eye toward transformation.

Teacher preparation and P-12 education have experienced a decade-long movement for systemic change creating more access to high quality educational experiences. To one extent, Federal regulations have promoted a renewed focus on equity protections for marginalized students. Yet these same regulations have saddled the field with cumbersome and questionable assessment, evaluation, and accountability demands. 

Advancements in technology continue to dramatically change the way people access content, deliver instruction, support all students, and measure learning.  While technology has provided a means to teach and communicate across the world, it also has resulted in inequities related to the access of equipment and the internet.  In the preparation of teachers, the use of technology is surging as it is becoming the “new normal" when university supervisors observe and supervise and provide meaningful feedback to teacher candidates virtually during internships and student teaching.

Globalization is yet another reality that has increased the number of English language learners in our P-16 classrooms and has intensified the need for teachers to be more globally minded in their knowledge and practice. In teacher education, there has been an increased focus on creating globally competent teachers for the 21st century.  The internationalizing of teacher education is opening up the opportunity to develop partnerships and create internationally focused programs for prospective liberal arts teacher candidates so they may promote inclusive, equitable, and socially just learning opportunities, and become global citizens and teachers.

Finally, teacher education programs continue to struggle finding sustainable ways to recruit and retain diverse teacher candidates to teach our ever-diverse student populations in our nation’s schools and classrooms.

AILACTE institutions are seeking to survive and thrive in the rapidly evolving educational landscape. Schools of Education are learning new ways to be nimble, flexible, and adaptable in their work. They also have to remember that all these changes can only come to fruition if the social emotional needs of students and teachers serve as the foundation of the work that we have been called to do.  It is essential that we come together and support their well-being.  Reflecting upon all the changes we have and must implement, examine the results for evidence of success and failure, and determining how we can embrace effective changes going forward will assist us as we survive and thrive during this pressing time we all find ourselves in.

Conference Strands:

[Note: Presentation proposals should address a specific strand and its associated question(s).]

Strand 1: Moving towards diversity, equity and social justice in the profession

“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” –Chinua Achebe

In light of the current political climate where multiple systems threaten the sustainability of public schools, it is imperative for scholars and practitioners of the profession to own and recognize the structural inequalities that have allowed the field to be tainted and challenged by decision-makers who are unfamiliar with the complexity associated with educating dynamic and diverse public school communities. For too long, economic and partisan forces have steered the birth of policies that stall and in many cases, roll back the strides made toward parity of minoritized communities.

The purpose of this strand is to challenge the status quo, by closely examining the socio-political contexts that limit the emancipatory potential of schooling and to show evidence of how our work is changing to meet the need to change. We welcome work that incorporates the theoretical foundations of Critical Race Theory, Indigenous Methodologies, DisCrit, LatCrit, Feminism, Womanism, Queer Theory, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, or others.

Proposals in this strand are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions:

  • What best-practices have you identified to support teacher candidates in developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to support ALL students especially students facing economic challenges, students with disabilities, English language learners, and students from under-represented racial/ethnic backgrounds?


  • What innovations have been created to recruit and retain a more diverse pool of teacher candidates?


  • How are equity and inclusivity infused into content areas (e.g., mathematics, science, STEM, English, social studies), teacher preparation programming, fieldwork, and practice?


  • In many cases, corporatized education entities have abused the title of Multicultural Education and cultural responsive pedagogy to support capitalistic ends of selling homogenized, prepackaged curriculum to schools and educators, without understanding the historical underpinning of the multicultural education and culturally responsive pedagogy movements.
How can teacher preparation programs, Pk-12 educators, and scholars work to reclaim the movement?
To what extent has Critical Race Theory, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy and Critical Disability Studies been used to impact our thinking in the field and our work as teacher educators?
To what extent has technology been used to create more personalized and equitable approaches and supports for diverse students? 
  • What role can intersectionality (e.g., ethnic and linguistic diversity, sexual and gender identity, equity and social justice challenges, socioeconomic differences, dis/ability) play in the development of highly qualified teachers and school professionals who are skilled in responding to the contexts in which they will teach?
How do teacher preparation programs combine their academic and activist voices?
How do you prepare students to act as change agents?


Stand 2: Technological Innovations in Teaching

Technology is a powerful tool that has advanced the field of education.  Whether it is accessing content, delivering instruction, supporting students with special needs, observing and supervising learners, assessing learning, or simply emailing a colleague, we rely on these tools.  While technology has provided a means to teach and communicate across the world, it also has resulted in inequities related to the access of equipment and the internet.  The Pandemic further exasperated this situation when all learning was moved to an online format.  This strand invites educators to discuss technological strategies that enhance teaching and learning.

Proposals in this strand are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions:

  • What strategies have you implemented to ensure that your graduates are able to use the technologies and programs of PK-12 schools?
  • What were the economic implications of the abrupt transition to online instruction for diverse students in P-16? 
  • What are the issues related to equity and access to technology?
  • How do you use technology in your professional work during the Covid-19 Pandemic including instruction, service, and scholarship, and what strategies do you feel you will continue to implement?
  • What accommodations did your state and/or institution establish to deal with virtual field experience and student teaching requirements during the Pandemic?
What are the unintended consequences of these accommodations?
  • How do you incorporate Universal Design for Learning, and connect with, and support students and teacher education candidates in an online environment?
  • How is your institution and department using technology to recruit and retain students—especially a diverse group of students?


Strand 3: Internationalization of Teacher Education: Creating Globally Competent Teachers and Teacher Educators for the 21st Century

A key role for liberal arts institutions must be to graduate future P-12 teachers who think globally, have international experiences at home or abroad, and are able to incorporate a global dimension into their teaching. Therefore, there is a need for the internationalizing in teacher education programs that may lead the way in developing partnerships and creating internationally focused programs promoting inclusive, equitable, and socially just learning opportunities, and become global citizens and teachers.

Proposals in this strand are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions:

  • How do/can our teacher education programs support UNESCO’s Education 2030 Goals?
  • How do we define internationalization in teacher education and what does it mean to be a competent global teacher?
  • How can education programs ensure that all teacher education candidates are competent and have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be effective intercultural teachers in an era of globalization?
  • How can we best support teacher education faculty in internationalizing teacher education curricula?
  • What opportunities in international education and best practice models are actively supporting the professional preparation of teacher education candidates and how are programs engaging underrepresented teacher education candidates in these experiences?


Strand 4: Advancing and Advocating for the Human Nature of Education and Teacher/Student Social-Emotional Well-being

A rapidly changing landscape has contributed to a dehumanization of the educational process. Federal regulations direct the instructional focus toward assessment, evaluation, and accountability.  School resource officers, and metal detectors, have increased a police-state feel in our P-12 schools, contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline.   The global pandemic has accelerated the implementation of distance education, separated students from their teachers, fellow students, school counselors, and social workers.  It also served to distance educators from one another, promoting burn out within the field.  This strand invites teacher educators to share best practices for advancing and advocating for the human aspects of our profession that include social-emotional well-being.

Proposals in this strand are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions:

  • What are the implications of the devaluing of human engagement in education, especially for students and teachers who may already feel marginalized?
  • What strategies have you implemented to ensure that teacher candidates are prepared to support the social emotional needs of their students?
  • As P-12 schools integrate social distancing, and increase hybrid and distance education, how can we prepare teachers to promote inclusion, student engagement, and relationship building, especially for students with exceptional needs?
  • What strategies have you implemented to assist teacher candidates, teachers, and/or teacher educators in maintaining their own social-emotional well-being, and continuous engagement in self-care?
  • What ways have you, as a teacher educator advocated for the preservation of the human nature of the educational process at the local, state, and national levels?


Proposal Formats:

The 2021 AILACTE Virtual Conference offers four types of session formats.  Please select that best fits your proposal

  1. One Presenter: 40 minutes including discussion
  2. Two Presenters: 50 minutes including discussion
  3. Panels (3-4 panelists): 60 minutes including discussion
  4. Roundtables: two presenters & 2 (connected) topics: 50 minutes including discussion

Note: All presenters must have access to a high-speed internet connection and presentation hardware (computer, camera, microphone) of sufficient quality and reliability to provide a professional digital presentation. 

In addition, presenters commit to meeting deadlines (to be determined following proposal acceptance) for completing their own conference registration and for sending digital content to AILACTE ahead of the event.  

  • Presentation sessions (one or two presenters) include reviewing an abbreviated paper, project, and other academic work.  Presentations usually begin with an outline of major points, such as purpose, problem, major findings, conclusion, and recommendations. Zoom presentations should engage those present as much as possible. Presenters should have documents on their desktops that can be shared during the zoom meeting.  Contact information should also be shared on the screen at the conclusion of the presentation.
  • Panel Presentation sessions include different perspectives or experiences focused on one focused topic or concept. Zoom presentations should engage those present as much as possible. If documents are to be shared, have them on your desktops for the zoom meeting.  Contact information should also be shared on the screen at the conclusion of the presentation.
  • Roundtable sessions allows for maximum interaction between participants through brief presentation and extended discussions. . Presenters should begin sessions with a description of session material followed by explanation of key points. Presenters then facilitate discussion with discussants using prepared talking points and questions for a total of 50 minutes between the 2 presenters. Presenters should be prepared to share their screens with documents that support the presentation. Also, please include contact information at the conclusion of the presentation.


Proposal Contents:

  • The proposal should be typed in 12-point font, double spaced, with 1-inch margins throughout.
  • Cover page includes the following information:
    • Title of presentation (18 words or fewer)
    • Lead & co-presenter(s) name, title, institution, telephone number, and email
    • Abstract for the conference program of 40 words or fewer
    • Format (presentation/panel/roundtable)
  • Summary that includes the following information and is 2 to 3 pages (page count excludes reference list and figures and tables, if any); exclude information that identifies presenter(s) from this section to ensure blind review.
    : State the topic, which may be a problem, question, investigation, etc., and provide context. Framework: Summarize perspectives, theory, and/or literature fundamental to the topic.

Investigation: Summarize method, technique, mode of inquiry, data, evidence, materials, etc.
Result: Describe the consequence, effect, or outcome.
Significance: Describe the importance of the topic, investigation, and/or result.
Participation: Describe one or more goals of the presentation with respect to participation and attendees; summarize strategies that will be used to ensure participation and achieve goals.