College announces Graduate Teacher of the Year

Mirka Koro-Ljungberg.

Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, assistant professor, Department of Educational Psychology, views herself as more than a teacher and mentor. The 2006 College of Education Graduate Teacher of the Year also sees herself as a facilitator, urging her students to think critically and to learn from each other.

“I favor group work, as well as lively, critical discussions that are as often student-led as teacher-led,” Koro-Ljungberg notes in her educational philosophy statement.

Koro-Ljungberg joined the University of Florida College of Education in 2001 directly after earning her Ph.D. in education from the University of Helsinki. Her knowledge of theoretical frameworks and corresponding methodologies quickly put her in great demand among novice qualitative researchers who seek her out for their doctoral committees.

In this role, Koro-Ljungberg is known to be generous with her time and committed to excellence. She provides detailed feedback and healthy doses of encouragement to her students.

In her first semester in the college, Koro-Ljungberg developed two new courses in research methods. These courses have attracted a campuswide following, with more than 200 students enrolling in the courses. In 2002, Koro-Ljungberg organized a qualitative support group for faculty to discuss theoretical and methodological issues related to qualitative research. Recently, she extended that support group to students to help them identify possibilities for presenting and publishing their research.

Believing that students need to find their voices and identities as researchers, Koro-Ljungberg challenges them to move outside their comfort zones. “My classroom is a place in which a community of learners meets,” Koro-Ljunberg says.

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Joy L. Rodgers,, (352) 392-0726, ext, 274