OUR DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER
In 2007, John Doak, Ph.D., started development of The Texas Institute for Teacher Education (TXITE). John was a Professor of Special Education at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. Prior to the professorship, he served the public and charter schools of Texas as a special education teacher, bilingual educational diagnostician, principal, and special education director.
As a program reviewer for The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE; now CAEP) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), he wanted to design a certification program that prepared teachers to help all students meet and exceed grade-level expectations. His goal was to create a flexible, low cost teacher certification program for career-changers who wanted to fulfill their dream of becoming a classroom teacher. The conceptual framework for TXITE ("Why UDL? Because every child deserves access to a personalized education.") was based upon his dissertation findings exploring educational services for English Language Learners with Disabilities.
In February 2009, the teacher certification program became a reality when the Texas State Board for Educator Certification approved TXITE to certify classroom teachers. During the next ten years, TXITE trained thousands of new teachers to use Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to create accessible learning environments and opportunities for all students.
Dr. Doak loves traveling across Texas to visit the classrooms of TXITE teachers and witnessing UDL in practice, teachers thriving, and children learning at high levels.