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’s 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.

Taryrn Brown headshot

Dr. Taryrn Brown is a clinical faculty member in the School of Teaching and Learning with specialization in Teachers, Schools, and Society. As a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the American Educational Studies Association (AESA), and the National Association of Multicultural Education (NAME), her research broadly examines the interpretive, normative, and critical perspectives of education both inside and outside of schools. With emphasis on the experiences of minoritized individuals and communities, much of her work emerges from the intersections of race, social class, and gender.

Dr. Brown has worked closely in her previous experiences in university-community initiatives, more recently with the non-traditional pedagogical space, the Awesome Clubhouse @ La Escuelita, which encouraged curiosities directed by children that intertwined with their personal realities, and their own self-directed interests. This educative work has been and continues to be a driving force behind Dr. Brown’s passion of  integrating university-community initiatives to serve students. The role of pedagogical spaces for critical conversation within the student and community experience is a priority for Dr. Brown in the preparedness of future practitioners, educators, and community leaders.

Currently, Dr. Brown is working with research that seeks to place an effort on addressing the gap in practice and knowledge, speaking directly to the discursive nature that often imposes itself on the lived realities of minoritized communities. Through an intersectional analysis, Dr. Brown values most the importance of highlighting actual lived realities in these communities. Moreover, providing insight into the ways in which advocates, supporters, practitioners, and educators can acknowledge implicit biases that exists in interactions and thoughts on minoritized groups.

Dr. Christopher L. Busey is an Assistant Professor in the Teachers, Schools, and Society program in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. He is also affiliate faculty for the Center for Latin American Studies and the African American Studies program. Dr. Busey’s research examines multiple strands of thought broadly related to race and education.  The first construct of his research agenda centers Critical Race Theory and critical theories of race as analytic and conceptual tools for the examination of race/racism in education.  The second and emerging line of Dr. Busey’s research examines Afro-Latinx/Afro-Latin American history and citizenship education, intersections of U.S. African-American and Afro-Latin American racial thought, and the racial politics of education for Afro-descendants in the U.S. and Latin America. Dr. Busey received the 2017-2018 Global Fellows Award from the University of Florida International Center to support his most recent research project which situates black education within global political reform efforts driven by black activism. Dr. Busey has published over fifteen scholarly manuscripts related to his research interests. He is a member of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) and the American Educational Research Association (AERA). His paper on anti-black racism in Latin America and a transnational conceptualization of Critical Race Theory won the 2018 AERA Social Studies Research SIG Outstanding Paper Award. Dr. Busey is the co-coordinator for the Education in the Americas specialization in the Center for Latin American Studies’ MALAS program.

Dr. Chonika Coleman-King is currently Assistant Professor of Teachers, Schools, and Society at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on how best to prepare teachers and teacher candidates to teach with an emphasis on social justice in schools that serve economically disadvantaged children and students of color, specifically Black children. Her research interests also include the development of culturally responsive curriculum and teaching practices across content areas. Additionally, Dr. Coleman-King focuses her work on anti-racist teachers, urban education, and the experiences of Black immigrant and Black American youth in U.S. schools. Dr. Coleman-King is the author of the book, The (Re-)Making of a Black American: Tracing the Racial and Ethnic Socialization of Caribbean American Youth which documents the complex interplay between race, class, and immigrant status for Afro-Caribbean immigrant youth and the role of schools and families in helping students develop their racial and ethnic identities. Her grants include the National Science Foundation, Integrative and Collaborative Education and Research (ICER) grant for $390,000 and the National Science Foundation, Discovery Research preK-12 (DRK-12) grant for $45,000. She also has a grant for $850,000 from Knox County Schools, where she is tasked with helping educators develop competencies around teaching racially, linguistically, and socioeconomically minoritized students.​

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 11 books and over 100 articles and book chapters on the topic. Throughout her career, she has worked extensively in supporting schools, districts and universities in implementing powerful programs of initial teacher preparation and job-embedded professional development through inquiry across the United States and in many countries, including China, South Korea, Belgium, Portugal, The Netherlands, Slovenia, and Estonia. She has been a leader in national movements focused on clinically-centered teacher education, chairing the Association of Teacher Educators’ first Clinical Practice Fellows Symposium, and serving on the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s Clinical Practice Commission.

Funded by a 3.2 million dollar grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, current research with colleagues and doctoral students is focused on online teacher professional development. Additional research projects are focused on preparing the next generation of teacher educators, practitioner inquiry and the creation of more equitable classrooms, practitioner inquiry in international contexts, and teacher educators as policy actors.  Dr. Dana’s support of doctoral students was recognized with the 2018 Association of Teacher Educators Duaine C. Lang Mentoring in Teacher Education Award and the 2019 University of Florida Dissertation Advising/Mentoring Award.

Gage Jeter headshot

Dr. Gage Jeter is a clinical faculty member in the School of Teaching and Learning and coordinator of the Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with a specialization in Teachers, Schools, and Society. A member of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Association of Teacher Educators (ATE), and National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), his research interests center on professional learning for preservice and practicing teachers, critical and multimodal literacies, and writing processes and products 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, including their roles of teacher, writer, researcher, and leader.

Currently, Dr. Jeter is considering 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.​ Moreover, utilizing queer theory, Dr. Jeter and his colleagues aim to challenge and act against heteronormative systems and spaces as they engage in intentional conversations centered on navigating critical incidents and countering hegemonic structures.

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, qualitative research methods, and culturally responsive teaching. 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 examining the experiences of queer faculty and students within heteronormative institutions such as schools. Dr. Vescio typically disseminates her scholarship in publications designed to reach practitioner scholars. 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, 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, and examining autoethnographic critical incidents with a queer theory framework to explore ways of countering narratives of heteronormativity.