College hosts inclusive excellence conference

February 17, 2015
H. Richard Milner IV (center) joins conference organizers Sakeena Everett (left) and Theda Gibbs (right) for a photo.

H. Richard Milner IV (center) joins conference organizers Sakeena Everett (left) and Theda Gibbs (right) for a photo.

More than 150 people attended the first-ever Creating Inclusive Excellence in Teacher Education conference hosted by the College of Education on Feb. 7, 2015. The event included eight workshops and a keynote session from H. Richard Milner IV of the University of Pittsburgh.

The conference was created in an effort to bridge the gaps between theory and research in the academy as well as classroom policy and practice with teachers and administrators in today’s schools. The workshops at the conference were presented by undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members of the college on a variety of topics, such as “Building the Classroom through Community and Culture” and “Exploring Equity in Teacher-Student Mathematics Interactions.” Presenters shared practices and insights from their work with student populations, and participants–including educators from 12 different Michigan public school districts– were encouraged to engage in activities provided. The workshops were designed with the idea that each session would allow participants to share, grow and engage in teaching strategies to help meet the needs of all current and future students.

Milner is Helen Faison Endowed Chair of Urban Education and director of the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh. His research is on teaching and policy interests that concern urban education, teacher education, African American literature and the sociology of education. His address focused on issues of equity in teaching, the achievement gap and student culture and differences.

“We came together to share ideas for responding to the ever-growing diversity within our schools because we share a commitment to ensuring success for all students,” said Margaret Crocco, chairperson of the Department of Teacher Education. “[Dr. Milner] brings tremendous expertise and insight to this effort as has been demonstrated by his own research, teaching and advocacy.”

The conference was unique, as it was organized by doctoral students Sakeena Everett and Theda Gibbs, both of whom are in the Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education program. It was sponsored and made possible by the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives at MSU by way of the Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant and the Department of Teacher Education. To learn more about the conference, visit the website.