1,000 Florida educators to share ‘action research’ in UF showcases

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—More than 1,000 public school educators are presenting their action research in coming weeks at the University of Florida’s annual inquiry showcases around the state.

The university’s Lastinger Center for Learning, part of the College of Education, co-produces the showcases with the Miami-Dade, Collier and Duval school districts as part of its award-winning Master Teacher Initiative. It is also sponsoring presentations by STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers in Pinellas County.

The events showcase classroom-oriented research projects that aim to boost student learning.

“Year after year, the teachers and administrators who participate in our Master Teacher Initiative dig deep into their practice and conduct hands-on research to figure out the best ways to help their students learn and develop,” said Don Pemberton, director of the Lastinger Center.

Miami-Dade holds its showcase May 12 at Southwest Miami Senior High School; Duval May 24 at the University of North Florida Center in Jacksonville; and Collier June 4 at Immokalee High School.

During the past school year, educators have tackled an eclectic variety of subjects. Many of them studied the effects of the technology they’ve incorporated into their classrooms.

Projects include “Get Them Hooked,” in which Carter G Woodson Elementary (Jacksonville) second-grade math teacher Deanda Ewers incorporated “research based engagement strategies” into her lesson plans; “Two Teachers? Pros and Cons of Team Teaching,” in which Coral Park Elementary (Miami) kindergarten teachers Carlos Mena and Jennifer Figueredo analyzed this scenario in their classroom; and “Impact of Study Island on AP Stats,” in which Immokalee High School 12th-grade math/computer science teacher Steven Becker examined the impact of new software on his students’ achievement.

The UF Lastinger Center is a global leader in the teacher quality movement. Harnessing the university’s intellectual resources, it partners with philanthropic, educational, governmental and business organizations to design, build, field-test, scale and disseminate new models and strategies to transform teaching and learning.

    WRITER: Boaz Dvir, UF Lastinger Center for Learning, UF College of Education, 352-273-0289, bdvir@coe.ufl.edu