Research Spotlight: Blake Beckett

Q & A with Blake Beckett, Ed. D., Assistant Professor at the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School

What research are you currently working on?

I recently completed my dissertation research focused on how teachers and students experience the intersection of Universal Design for Learning and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy in my own sixth-grade classroom at the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School here at the University of Florida. I am interested in empowering students and teachers to understand their own assets and variabilities, as well as those of others. This year I am extending this research with a focus on how students understand and engage in critical thinking in different contexts.

What is the broader impact of your research?

My research applies to both pre-service and in-service teachers as well as to those who support their professional learning. As teachers design and facilitate learning experiences, it is important to center students’ assets and variabilities and encourage them to be as active in their own learning as possible. Critical thinking is an essential yet complex skill I want to better understand and support more effectively in myself and other learners, both teachers and students.

What other research topics are you interested in?

I am also interested in helping teachers and students connect the content in K-12 classes to real-world experiences, honoring the goals students have for themselves beyond their K-12 education.