Summer Institute led by Eastern Michigan University sets stage for reshaping teacher education

Professor Imandeep Grewal with participants in the Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation Summer Institute on the steps of the Boggs Center in Detroit.
Imandeep Grewal (center, with EMU green shirt), with participants in the Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation Summer Institute on the steps of the Boggs Center in Detroit.

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University assistant professor Imandeep Grewal is committed to providing a space for future educators from historically marginalized communities to thrive and feel supported. Her leadership through the NEXT Scholars program received attention from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Preparation for EMU to host the Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation Summer Institute to help transform education. 

Grewal and colleagues from Ball State University and the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement agreed on a new vision and purpose for the summer institute earlier this year. This was the first summer institute hosted by the Department of Teacher Education in collaboration with Ball State University, American Association for Colleges of Teacher Preparation and the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement). They charged themselves with redesigning teacher preparation in contexts of schools, families, and communities within the framework of love and justice.

“We wanted to design a conference with the underlying theme of transforming teacher education,” said Grewal. “So we looked at opportunities to collaborate to strengthen community, family, and school engagement knowledge, skills, and experiences in teacher preparation.”

The conference attracted 28 participants, including teacher preparation professors from various universities nationwide, educational leaders, educators from Ypsilanti Community Schools, and NEXT Scholars.  Professor Grewal collaborated with the Boggs Center in Detroit to lead a day-long learning tour with community organizations that successfully implement love and justice in their transformative work. Drawing inspiration from this experience, the second day of the conference was dedicated to crystallizing ideas. Grewal and colleagues will continue leading this work in various spaces through the coming years. They will host the conference again next year.

“I was fortunate to be part of one of the most meaningful experiences I have had at EMU --alongside colleagues, teachers, future teachers, teacher educators, representatives from community-based organizations, and researchers from EMU and other universities,” said Zuzana Tomaš, institute participant and Eastern Michigan University TESOL Professor. “We visited incredible community organizations in Detroit and discussed what changes we could make to teacher education programs to better prepare teachers for working with diverse families.”

Participants walked away with Bell Hooks's book “All About Love,” a heart-shaped crystal from a local rock store, and a card with a reminder quote to continue the work. Grewal credits the conference’s success to Kamljeet Kaur, an undergraduate education major and NEXT Scholar, for planning and hosting this year’s conference. 

Grewal is excited about the prospect of including more individuals passionate about education and the desire to see more students succeed through the institute. “We will continue the work started to radically redesign teacher preparation and begin planning a memorable institute next year.”

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

October 02, 2023

Written by:
Melissa Thrasher

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher