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UW-Madison alum Fanaeian wins 2019 AACTE Outstanding Dissertation Award

February 05, 2019

UW-Madison alumna Emily Evans Fanaeian​ is the recipient of the 2019 American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Fanaeian, who earned her Ph.D. from the School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is being recognized for her dissertation, “Preparing Pre-service Teaches for Working with Linguistically Diverse Students: Examining University Teacher Preparation Programs Across the United States.”

Fanaeian is now the interim director of English as a Second Language/Bilingual Graduate Programs for the School of Education at Edgewood College. She will be recognized formally with the award at the AACTE 71st Annual Meeting, Feb. 22-24, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Emily Evans Fanaeian
An AACTE news release about the award explains that Fanaeian designed an ambitious multiple case study to examine the ways in which university-based teacher education programs take up the task of preparing general education teacher candidates to provide instruction to English learners.

UW-Madison’s Kimber Wilkerson, who is the faculty director of the School of Education’s Teacher Education Center, explains in the news release: “Acknowledging the importance of preparing general educators to meet the needs of the wide diversity of learners in our schools, this study surfaces the very real local and contextual constraints that teacher educators face when attempting to add complexity to teacher preparation programs. This is particularly important at a time when teacher preparation programs face pressure to reduce the time and cost toward a degree.”

Fanaeian's research provides insightful guidance to teacher educators considering different approaches to incorporating new content. Her recommendations for practice are thoughtful as well as pragmatic, and could be applied conceptually to other types of expertise beyond educating English learners.  

Overseen by the AACTE Committee on Research and Dissemination, this award is given annually by AACTE to recognize excellence in doctoral dissertation research that contributes to the knowledge base of educator preparation. 

“As the leading voice in educator preparation, AACTE represents teacher educators who sustain and advance their profession through innovation, high standards, and leadership. For 23 years, AACTE has honored its member institutions which and individuals who make exceptional contributions to our field,” Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO, says in the news release about the award. “As the recipient of a 2019 AACTE Award, Dr. Fanaeian exemplifies excellence in educator preparation and I look forward to honoring her at the 71st Annual Meeting later this month.”

Based in Washington, D.C., AACTE is a national alliance of 800 colleges and universities with educator preparation programs dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready as they enter the classroom. The AACTE awards program has been recognizing excellence since 1996 in both member institutions and individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of educator preparation. By honoring notable programs and practices, professional accomplishments and scholarship, these awards encourage AACTE members to strengthen the profession through innovation, leadership and inquiry.

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Information in this report was provided by AACTE