TSS faculty are actively engaged in numerous grant activities and special projects related to preservice teacher education and the continuing professional development of practicing teachers locally, nationally, and internationally.

These professors have a strong commitment to social justice. They work to link K-12 education and doctoral student education to create better educational experiences for all students.


Dr. Alyson Adams is a clinical faculty member and Associate Director for Teaching and Teacher Education in the School of Teaching and Learning, with close ties to schools and educators through job-embedded graduate programs and school reform work in the Lastinger Center for Learning. Her research focuses on teacher learning within professional development as well as the impact of job-embedded graduate programs on both teacher learning and student outcomes.

Professional learning communities and instructional coaching are two areas of emphasis in her work with schools. Her grants are largely foundation grants, with a recent $350,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to focus on professional development policy and advocacy. Dr. Adams is also a national facilitator for the National School Reform Faculty, an organization focused on improving teacher collaboration through learning communities, and incorporates the emphasis on structured and intentional dialogue into her graduate teaching and her collaboration with colleagues.


Dr. Elizabeth Bondy research focuses on helping preservice and inservice educators to work effectively with the diverse students in today’s classrooms. In her current work she is collaborating with doctoral students on four studies related to LGBTQ issues in teacher education, incorporating a social justice stance in preservice coursework and supervision, implementing culturally relevant teaching in failing elementary schools, and examining the practices of educational leaders who have a social justice stance.

Recently, Dr. Bondy was awarded a 2.7 M grant to strengthen UF’s elementary teacher preparation program. The grant provides research and teaching opportunities for interested doctoral students and faculty. The immediate past director of the School of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Bondy is excited about being able to devote herself to her research and her work with doctoral students.

Dr. Christopher Busey‘s research broadly examines the intersection of race and education across multiple contexts with a specific focus on social studies curriculum and pedagogy, curriculum history, critical race theory, and teacher education. His more current work focuses on [re-]conceptualizing and contextualizing narratives relevant to Afro-Latinx education and Black Diaspora history within K-20 curricular discourses. Dr. Busey’s research also relies upon critical theories of race to examine teacher education practices in addition to the lived experiences of students and educators of color in various educational settings.

He has published over 15 articles and book chapters related to race and education. Dr. Busey is a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), Latin American Studies Association (LASA), and is the 2018 College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA) Program Chair.

Dr. Nancy Fichtman Dana’s research focuses on teacher and administrator professional development with a particular focus on practitioner inquiry, the systematic and intentional study by educators of their own practice. She has published 9 books and over 60 articles and book chapters on the topic. She has extensive experience in professional development school work and recently co-chaired a national symposium focused on putting clinical practice at the center of teacher education programs.

Recent and current research projects are focused on practitioner inquiry and online teacher professional development, establishing and maintaining healthy inquiry-oriented learning communities, the role of practitioner inquiry in doctoral studies, practitioner inquiry in international contexts, and principal professional development through inquiry.

Gage Jeter headshot

Dr. Gage Jeter’s research centers on professional development for preservice and practicing teachers, authentic and critical English language arts (ELA) pedagogy, and writing processes in face-to-face and online spaces. He has worked closely with National Writing Project sites to explore teachers’ lived experiences of professional development opportunities, focusing on the essence of these experiences before, during, and after participation. His research has revealed much about teachers’ lived experiences – including their roles of teacher, writer, researcher, and leader – and how those can be potentially transferred to other personal and professional situations.

Dr. Jeter has also worked with PK-12 teachers in rural, urban, and suburban schools through grants designed to promote authentic technology integration. In addition, Jeter has collaborated with a research team investigating how authentic teaching and learning through a 5E lesson design approach influences student attitudes, emotions, and cognition.

As a former (yet always, at heart) middle school ELA teacher, he is interested in how writers (students and teachers alike) engage in processes and craft products in a variety of situations and for specific purposes. Moreover, Dr. Jeter considers how diverse teacher and student populations learn and use multiple literacies within and beyond the classroom and in the ways that technology is shifting conceptions of literacy morphing from reading and writing to be inclusive of critical thinking, researching, and multimodal expressions.​

Sevan Terzian

Dr. Sevan Terzian’s research focuses on the history of education in the United States.  His first book, Science Education and Citizenship:  Fairs, Clubs, and Talent Searches for American Youth, 1918-1958, traces the changing civic justifications for extracurricular science programs.  Dr. Terzian’s second book, American Education in Popular Media:  From the Blackboard to the Silver Screen, is an co-edited volume of historical essays from leading scholars and former students about the portrayals of schooling through radio, film, and television.  Currently, Dr. Terzian is researching a book-length study of the racial dimensions of “giftedness” in twentieth century American education.

Dr. Terzian belongs to numerous professional organizations including the American Educational Research Association (AERA), History of Education Society (HES), Organization of American Historians (OAH).  He was pleased to host the annual Southern History of Education Society (SHOES) conference at UF in March 2018  and he remains grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with wonderful colleagues and many dedicated graduate students.

Dorene Ross

Dr. Vicki Vescio is a clinical faculty member in the School of Teaching and Learning where the focus of her work is on teaching master’s and doctoral level courses in the areas of curriculum, social justice, and teacher education. Her research interests include critical whiteness studies, advancing preservice and inservice teachers’ understandings of equity and social justice as it relates to their daily practice, and teacher professional development. Dr. Vescio is a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) and the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE). As a member of these organizations she has served on national level committees including the Qualitative SIG Book of the Year, the Critical Educators for Social Justice Dissertation Committee, and she has been a Co-Chair of the NAME Conference Proposal Committee for several years.

In her current work, Dr. Vescio is collaborating with other program faculty and doctoral students on projects that include examining the culturally responsive classroom practices of preservice and novice teachers, investigating the experiences of international graduate students who supervise preservice teachers in practicum placements in U.S. contexts, and studying the relationship between online doctoral students participation in a cross-class project based learning experience and their understandings of social justice content knowledge as well as their development as critical action researchers.