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2021 Call for Proposals

ATE 2021 Summer Conference

Skyline_Andy Spessard

Sheraton Columbus at Capitol Square

Columbus, OH

July 29 - August 3rd, 2021

View ATE COVID-19 updates.

The online Call for Proposals for ATE's 2021 Summer Conference is now available. To submit a proposal, please read all of the information below, prepare your material, and submit your proposal online through our online portal

Proposals are due by May 15, 2021. For a print copy of the information below click here.






July 29 – August 3, 2021

Educator Preparation for an Uncertain Future: Preparing Antifragile Teachers

What makes for an uncertain future? Recent years have presented insight into how we address this question. One answer is the global pandemic of COVID-19 that has fostered uncertainty in our world, our social and educational systems, and in our day-to-day lives. The shock effect of the pandemic has presented society and its members with multiple levels of uncertainty and unpreparedness. Simultaneously, attention to increased political unrest and cultural inequities have shifted us away from a perceived sense of stability. Educators’ growing awareness and acknowledgment of the fragility experienced by students, families, and teachers have advanced educators’ responsibilities for ensuring diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging in all classrooms and communities.

Teachers and students forced to teach and learn remotely from home have challenged what was the perceived “normal” in education and the lives of teachers and students as well as parents and communities. Citizens and society have become cognizant of what it means to be “fragile” in what was otherwise frequently perceived as moderately safe and secure. We are learning and changing in our understanding of one another as individuals with rich and varied lived experiences. We are confronted with the need for and importance of evolving an “antifragile” state of mind and systemic response to a world that will not return to the perceived old “normal.” How we learn, as members of communities and society, will require adaptation to the persistent uncertain times that we live in today and will face in the foreseeable future.

Schools in communities and cities across the US and in our global society will not return to the old “normal” nor should they. The “fragile” nature of our world will need to take direction from how systems change and adjust over time in response to what challenges us, especially to ensure educational equity and social justice for all. For teacher educators these goals are perhaps the most significant and unfamiliar challenge we face today in a profession that has been guided largely by policies, standards, competency-based learning, and a way of education life that can no longer survive in stark contrast to the conditions we face now. Life in the next decade and beyond will likely be influenced by dramatic changes foreseeably more radical than the COVID-19 pandemic.

Educator preparation programs and the teacher educators that prepare each future generation of teachers must rethink the nature of preparation to ensure that each teacher is characterized by “antifragility” as a necessity for meeting the needs of an otherwise “fragile” educational system and world. As teacher educators, we shoulder a major responsibility for preparing the “antifragile” teachers who are equipped to will enter the challenging and uncertain nature of classrooms to teach all students to become strong learners and “antifragile” members of a larger society.

In this sense, teacher education becomes a poetic voice for addressing the “fragility” we face. Michael Robbins, in his book Equipment for Living (2017), contends that poetry was in fact designed for living in a world often unfamiliar and filled with perplexities. He quotes Kenneth Burke, “Poetry is produced . . . as part of the consolatio philosophiae. It is undertaken as equipment for living, as a ritualistic way of arming us to confront perplexities and risks.” Teacher education as a poetic voice for preparing future “antifragile” teachers understands, as Burke explained, that we are preparing teachers for a world filled with perplexities and risks (1941, p. 61).

As teacher educators, we should arm future teachers, as philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb advises in his book Antifragile, with knowledge and understanding that offers the potential to make them shockproof. Taleb writes, “Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty” (p.3). The “antifragile” teacher entering schools and classrooms that are disrupted from events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant political and cultural unrest will need to be equipped for living in an uncertain world. As Taleb explains, “antifragility” is beyond resilience or robustness; it anticipates the persistent uncertain nature of a pandemic, social justice, and other challenges that present dramatic changes in our way of life.

Likewise, as teacher educators our challenge, in part, is to prepare “antifragile” teachers who will grow stronger as a result of disorder and threats to what is perceived as “normal.” This will require an understanding of how to prepare future teachers and advocate for all educators who understand that the cultural, societal, and ideological norms are will be constantly changing. “Antifragile” teachers must be prepared for the volatility, uncertainty, and randomness of the unpredictable, natural, complex nature of the world wherein they live and teach.

Addressing the theme of Educator Preparation for an Uncertain Future: Preparing Antifragile Teachers, the following strands present frames of inquiry for research, problem-posing, knowledge sharing, and dialogue.

Strand 1: Teaching Methods and Pedagogies for Preparing and Mentoring Antifragile Teachers and Students

Strand 2: Blended, Multimedia, Asynchronous, and Synchronous Learning

Strand 3: Teacher Resiliency, Well-being, and Mindfulness in Times of Uncertainty and Change

Strand 4: Teacher Collaboration to Create Cultures of Social Justice, Equity and Diversity through Trust Building and Knowledge Sharing

Strand 5: Evolving Toward and Advocating for “Antifragile” Systems of Educator Preparation in a Global Society

Burke, K. (1941). Philosophy of literary form: Studies in symbolic form. Louisiana State University Press.

Robbins, M. (2017). Equipment for living: On poetry and pop music. Simon & Schuster.

Taleb, N. N. (2012). Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder. Random House.


The 2021 Summer Conference Planning Committee encourages sessions that use multiple presenters, undergraduate and graduate students, classroom teachers, teacher educators at all levels, other school personnel, and policy makers. These sessions may include the application of research, position papers, descriptions of existing programs/practices, or innovation in teacher education. Various types of sessions addressing the conference theme or other ATE interests are scheduled throughout the conference.

Proposals are due May 15, 2021. All proposals are blind, peer-reviewed.  

To submit a proposal, please read all of the information below, prepare your material, and submit your proposal online through our cvent online portal. 

Proposal Instructions:

Thematic Sessions (scheduled for August 1- 3, 2021):

Fifty to Eighty-minute sessions addressing the conference theme or other ATE interests. These sessions may include the application of research, position papers, descriptions of existing programs/practices, or innovation in teacher education. Proposals of the following types are encouraged.  Please note that if the 2021 Summer Conference must move to an online format that all sessions will be 50 minutes.

A. Multiple Paper Format:  This type of thematic session provides an opportunity for authors to present a synopsis of their work. The planning committee will pair papers of a similar topic or theme for a total of 50 minutes. Each paper will be given approximately 20 to 25 minutes to present, followed by a 5 to10-minute question-and-answer session.

B. Roundtable Format:  Roundtables are informal sessions during which presenters are seated at a table to discuss works-in-progress that may not be ready for formal presentation. Tables are numbered to allow conference attendees to easily identify an individual presenter’s session. Each discussion lasts 50 minutes Please note that if the 2021 Summer Conference must move to an online format that all Roundtable sessions will be converted to Multiple Paper sessions.

C.  Symposium: A symposium provides an opportunity to examine specific research issues, problems, or topics from a variety of perspectives. Symposia may use a panel discussion format targeted at a clearly delineated research issue or idea.  Symposium submissions may have 3 - 4 papers for the 50 to 90 minute session.  The session organizer will provide the name and information of a Symposium Discussant. Please note that if the 2021 Summer Conference must move to an online format that all sessions will be 50 minutes.

D. Research Sessions:  Two – three research papers will be grouped by related topics or themes in 50-80 minute sessions
.  Research papers are presented in approximately 15 - 20-minute time segments. A Discussant will provide a response at the conclusion of the presentations. If a proposal is accepted a written paper or research report MUST be submitted to the Discussant by July 10, 2021. Please note that if the 2021 Summer Conference must move to an online format that all sessions will be 50 minutes.

E. (NEW)Poster Sessions: Presenters are given the opportunity to display their work in an informal setting. Presenters are encouraged to engage visitors in dialogue focusing on the work displayed on the poster. Poster sessions are also scheduled at 40-minute intervals.

Proposal Format:

Proposals must be submitted by May 15, 2021. Please read the information on this page in its entirety to better understand the requirements and guidelines for the proposal submission. Each proposal, regardless of session type, must be submitted either PDF or  word doc., including all required information as stated below, and submitted here.

Step 1: Presenter’s Details (Do Not Submit as Part of the Abstract)

  • Session Organizer: Name, title, institution, e-mail, social media handles, profile image, and professional biography.
  • Co-Presenters: Same information as Session Organizer

Step 2: Submission Details

  • Submission Title
  • Summary for Conference Program:Describe the session in thirty words or less for use in the conference program. Be precise in describing the content of the session to aid attendees in selecting topics relevant to their interests. If the summary exceeds the 30- word limit, the program committee may edit it prior to the conference. 
  • Type of Session: Identify as one of the following: Multiple Paper, Roundtable, Symposium, Research Session, or Poster Presentation. 
  • Teacher Educator Standards:Select the appropriate Teacher Educator Standard(s) that aligns with your submission: 1) Teaching; 2) Cultural Competence; 3) Scholarship; 4) Professional Development; 5) Program Development; 6) Collaboration; 7) Public Advocacy; 8) Teacher Education Profession; 9) Vision. See ATE Website ( for more complete descriptions.
  • Subject Descriptors: Identify the conference strand this presentation most closely relates to and include three one – or – two-word tags or descriptors for the subject index.
  • ATE Professional Role and Involvement: Please identify your professional role (e.g., undergraduate and graduate student, classroom teacher, university/school-based teacher educator, other school personnel, policy makers. etc.) and level of ATE involvement (member, non-member, conference newcomer).

Step 3: Abstract of Presentation

Thematic Presentation (Upload your abstract as a PDF or word doc. with the following outlined information - Omit any identifiers from your abstract.)

  1.   Title
  2.   Type of Presentation: (Multiple Paper, Roundtable, Symposium or Research Session.)
  3.   Content of Presentation (no more than 1,500 words, including methodology and literature review when appropriate)
  4.   Teacher Educator Standard(s) Addressed
  5.   Objective(s) of the Presentation
  6.   Relationship to Conference Theme/Strands
  7.   Relevance or Implications of Topic
  8.   Participant Outcomes

Reviewers may not review a proposal that does not follow this format. Proposals will be reviewed on the basis of how well each component of the abstract is addressed in the submission.

Note: In order to submit your proposal, please create a cvent online portal account using the "Submit Proposals Here" icon below.

Please enter an email that will not block communication from a 3rd party online platform.

Please check with your institution if you are unsure.

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Due Dates and Submission:
Proposals must be submitted by May 15, 2021. Proposals are submitted thru the "Submit Proposals Here" Icon above.

General Information

All presenters are required to register for the conference and should be registered at least

one week prior to the start of the conference.

 A. All Thematic and Featured Session Rooms will be equipped with an LCD Projector Support Package which includes projection screen and projection table with electrical connections as well as an LCD projector. It does not include computer or Apple connections. All Thematic and Featured Session Rooms will have access to WiFi. If additional audiovisual equipment is needed, ATE will provide the name of an agency that can be contacted for individual presentation arrangements.

B. Information used in the program is copied from the proposal cover page. ATE reserves editorial rights.

C. All communication will be with the session organizer who is responsible for communicating with other presenters of that session.

D. Graduate students, classroom teachers, and new ATE members are especially encouraged to submit proposals.

E. If in person, Poster presenters may need to supply an easel to display their poster.

2021 ATE Summer Conference Planning Committee

John K. Hicks, President

Nancy P. Gallavan, Planning Committee Co-Chair

Ann Shelly, Planning Committee Co-Chair

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