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  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools
  • University of Florida College of Education
    - Lastinger Center for Learning
    - School of Teaching and Learning
    - School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies
  • The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • SRI International

Project Description

The Florida Master Teacher Initiative enhances early learning instruction for high-need students by:

  • Developing an early childhood specialization within an existing, job-embedded graduate degree program and offering the program to 100 early childhood teachers (grades pre-K-3);
  • Providing school-based leadership opportunities for graduate students to share program content and practices with colleagues within inquiry-based learning communities;
  • Supporting principals’ efforts to adopt a facilitative leadership approach and enhance their ability to effect change within their schools; and
  • Evaluating the model rigorously using an experimental design over the four years.

This innovative approach combines cutting-edge online pedagogy with professors in residence who deliver face-to-face instruction at the school site. In turn, graduate students lead efforts at their respective school sites to enhance colleagues’ instructional skills and improve student achievement.

Target Population

The target population consists of one hundred Pre-K through third grade teachers who participate in the graduate program, 375 teachers who participate in inquiry-based learning communities per year for three years, and approximately 30,250 students in 25 Title I treatment schools.

Objectives and Outcomes

  1. Improving academic outcomes for 30,250 high-need children by improving teacher effectiveness and school culture;
  2. Increasing the skills, performance, and morale of teachers in the 25 Title I schools;
  3. Documenting how a job-embedded, inquiry-based professional development model can reform schools and improve student achievement by increasing early childhood teachers’ skills, forming learning communities in schools, and advancing principal leadership; and
  4. Preparing to scale the model.