Jordan Barkley currently serves as a dean of the College of Education and a professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Tarleton State University (member of the Texas A&M University System), where he, along with his associate deans, provides leadership for the departments of Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership and Technology, Psychological Sciences, and the School of Kinesiology. Prior to his appointment as dean at Tarleton in 2014, he served as an associate professor of Secondary Education and associate dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL. He began his career in education in 2000 after having earned a bachelor’s degree in English and history education from Auburn University. During his five years teaching 7th grade English and civics, he earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Reading Education from Auburn University. Since joining higher education in 2005, he has been actively involved in teacher education as a faculty member, administrator, and accreditation site visitor.

It’s exciting to be in educator preparation and to know that we must evolve as a profession and improve the way we prepare future teachers.

Why did you decide to join Deans for Impact?

Deans for Impact came as a highly-regarded professional learning community for educator preparation leaders. Colleagues recommended the fellowship and organization as a way to network with others who share a desire to develop sound teacher preparation programs across the U.S., citing Deans for Impact’s investment in improving policy and practice regarding teacher education.

What is one pivotal moment in your career in educator preparation that left a positive impact on you or others?

I’d say the most pivotal moment I’ve had in educator preparation was actually in the field with my students back when I was teaching methods courses and supervising practicum students as an assistant professor. I had spent the majority of my class time preparing students to plan, deliver, assess, regroup, and stressing the importance of flexibility and understanding their learners. Being in the field with them and watching them see theory become practice strengthened my belief that effective teacher preparation programs must be built on the premise that students are in the field early and often, practicing what they are learning.

What most excites you about the opportunity to transform the field of educator preparation in the years ahead?

I see and hear constant negative press about teacher preparation and retention, about how quickly new teachers burn out, and I recognize this as an opportunity to transform our field. It’s exciting to be in educator preparation and to know that we must evolve as a profession and improve the way we prepare future teachers. As a middle school teacher I was able to interact with 50 to 120 students a year, but as a leader in educator preparation, I have the opportunity to interact with hundreds of future teachers each year. When we improve the ways we prepare teachers, we directly impact K-12 education, which impacts our future!

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