Deborah Loewenberg Ball, dean of the School of Education, received the 2014 Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education, the University announced Thursday.
The award will be presented Monday by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education — a national alliance of public and private colleges and universities dedicated to educator training — at its 66th annual meeting in Indianapolis.
Loewenberg Ball said she was notified about the award via e-mail a few weeks ago.
“I was very surprised, extremely honored — it’s a major organization of all the institutions in the country that prepare teachers — so it’s just a very big honor because there are about 1,400 different universities that prepare teachers,” Loewenberg Ball said. “It’s a very nice recognition of the amount of work we’ve been doing here at Michigan.”
Gail Bozeman, vice president of meetings and events at AACTE, said the award is very prestigious and that Loewenberg Ball is a more than deserving recipient.
“Part of the award deals with recognizing outstanding contributions to teacher education, especially around an individual or an institution that may have produced or developed materials that will promote more effective methods of teacher education at the collegiate level,” Bozeman said.
Bozeman said out of 14 candidates, Loewenberg Ball stood out for her notable involvement in numerous national teaching initiatives including TeachingWorks, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of new teachers.
Loewenberg Ball said historically, first- and second-year teachers often report learning the bulk of their skills only upon entering the classroom.
“What TeachingWorks is setting out to do is to say that kids really deserve to have skillful teaching every year that they’re in school, and people who agree to become teachers deserve to be trained well enough to be responsible for children,” she said.
TeachingWorks is dedicated to three main pillars: defining the key knowledge and practices a new teacher needs before entering the classroom, providing enough experience and practice for a new teacher, and developing new assessments.
In a statement, University Provost Martha Pollack said the award was a fitting one for the dean and is a testament to her dedication.
“Her work has added a vital element to the national discourse on teacher preparation and on the key role that teaching plays in children’s life chances,” Pollack wrote. “Her leadership in the field, including her work with policymakers at local, state and national levels, will point the way to ensuring that every child in our nation’s classrooms receives skillful teaching.”
The award is named after former AACTE Executive Director Edward C. Pomeroy and recognizes “distinguished service to the teacher education community for the development and promotion of outstanding practices at the collegiate, state or national level.”
Loewenberg Ball said the award was more a testament to the work of her colleagues in the department.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to have been here over the last decade working on this with my colleagues so the award in many ways is a credit to the whole school,” she said. “I feel very honored to be recognized but honestly it’s about the work we’ve all been doing here.”