Ann Schulte was born and raised in Yankton, South Dakota. After earning her degree in Elementary Education from Mount Marty College, she taught and coached high school debate in small towns in Iowa and South Dakota. After 8 years of teaching, Ann achieved a Masters degree in Middle Level Education from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville and went on to UW, Madison to earn her PhD in 2001. Kenneth Zeichner, a distinguished professor of teacher education, was her doctoral advisor.
Currently Ann is a Professor of Education and the Director of Civic Engagement at California State University, Chico. Chico is a small city that functions as a regional hub for a substantial portion of northern California that is largely agricultural and mountainous. CSU, Chico serves a 12-county region the size of Ohio. In the School of Education, Ann has been a leading faculty member in the Rural Teacher Residency (RTR) and teaches courses that focus on issues of rurality. The Rural Teacher Residency, funded by a federal grant, was a comprehensive partnership between the University’s School of Education and four high-need rural school districts in northern California designed to improve the preparation of new teachers, to address the needs of rural schools, and to improve the achievement of all students. In RTR, candidates earned both a credential and a Masters degree in 18 months. The RTR program ended, however Ann continues to participate in program assessment and qualitative research to determine the effect of program attributes on the RTR graduates. Part of this research includes determining the beneficial qualities of rural placements. Although RTR has ended, residencies in rural schools continue in the Promoting Rural Improvement in Secondary Mathematics and Science (PRISMS) grant which is in its fifth and final year of funding.
Ann’s scholarly interests lie primarily in the study of how one’s identity impacts one’s teaching. In her first book Seeking Integrity in Teacher Education: Transforming My Student Teachers, Transforming My Self (2009), Ann explored how as a white middle class woman, she prepared primarily white middle class women to teach diverse populations of students. She explored how she was able to use their shared identities to draw on her student teachers’ strengths in teaching them to meet the needs of students who were from different backgrounds than the teacher. Ann continued this line of inquiry in her second book, Self-studies in Rural Teacher Education (2015), edited with Bernadette Walker-Gibbs from Australia. In this second book, Ann explores her rural identity in order that she might work in solidarity with rural teachers to overcome the deficit perceptions of rural places. Ann prepares teachers to draw on the strengths of rural communities and to connect their teaching to rural places. Ann is developing her propensity to be a rural activist. Outside of education work, Ann enjoys making art, and is also active in local politics and in efforts to address homelessness.