Rutgers Graduate School of Education Co-Hosts 8th Annual Urban Teacher Education Consortium

Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE), along with Montclair State University’s College of Education and Human Services (CEHS), hosted the 8th annual Urban Teachers Education Consortium (UTEC) February 18-20, 2015. UTEC is comprised of faculty and staff that run urban teacher preparation programs across the country and gather each year to discuss issues surrounding urban education and possible solutions. Directors of the GSE’s Urban Teaching Fellows program, Dr. Thea Abu El-Haj and Dr. Beth Rubin,  have been members of UTEC since 2013. 

“We are pleased that Rutgers GSE is part of this network of forward-thinking urban teacher education programs” said Associate Professor Beth Rubin.

UTEC is committed to developing powerful urban teacher preparation programs by addressing specific problems of practice and general dilemmas seen across all programs. This year, more than 50 educators from 20 institutions across the country had the opportunity to visit urban school districts, review existing urban education programs, and engage in discussion and planning.

“It is, unfortunately, rare that we get an opportunity to sit with our colleagues, describe particular struggles we face in our work, and have others share their experiences and reflections with us,” Associate Professor Abu El-Haj reflected. “UTEC has provided this amazing space for us to deepen our thinking about what it means to prepare teachers well to teach in urban schools.”

On the first day, UTEC members participated in instructional rounds at two K-12 public schools in Newark, NJ, Montclair students are conducting their field placements, and discussed their observations. These visits allowed UTEC members to gain a better understanding of the impact of University partnerships on urban school districts. The second day was spent at Rutgers engaged in an inquiry process, the descriptive review of practice, about the GSE’s Urban Teaching Fellows program. Following this inquiry process, the group conducted a cross-site analysis with the CEHS’s urban teacher preparation programs. The event wrapped up with attendees gathering to debrief and plan for the future.

Learn more about the GSE’s urban teaching initiatives by visiting the Urban Teaching Fellowship webpage