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International group recognizes UF professor as year’s outstanding science teacher educator



Rose Pringle2

International spotlight shines on Rose Pringle

University of Florida education scholar Rose Pringle has been recognized as one of the world’s top science teacher educators after receiving an international award as 2015 Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year.

The Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE), an international professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence in science teacher education worldwide, awarded Pringle its top honor at the group’s recent annual conference in Reno, Nev.

Along with the accolade, Pringle, an associate professor in science education at the UF College of Education, received a $500 stipend, plaque and a tribute in the awards issue of the Journal of Science Teacher Education.

Pringle, who has garnered more than $7 million in federal and state grants during her 15 years at UF to support her research of science teacher education, said the award validates her mantra that all teachers-in-training should also act as researchers.

“Increasing science achievement among all K-12 learners will only occur when science educators truly become engaged with and demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of the science of teaching,” Pringle said.

Her research includes the exploration of future teachers as science learners, the development of science-specific teaching methods for prospective and practicing teachers, and translating these practices into engaging science experiences for all learners. Pringle also is determined to increase the participation of minorities, especially girls of African descent, in science and mathematics.

Working with Lynda Hayes, director of UF’s P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, Pringle is a co-principal investigator on a $5 million grant, awarded by the National Science Foundation, designed to transform middle-school science education in Florida. The project, known as U-FUTuRES (University of Florida Unites Teachers to Reform Education in Science), involves creating cadres of highly trained science teacher leaders around the state who will educate and energize other teachers in their school districts with a new kind of science teaching.

The effort, started in 2011, so far has resulted in 35 Florida teachers earning advanced degrees in science education and currently applying their skills as highly trained Science Teacher Leaders in their own schools and districts.

The UF researchers have received a follow-up NSF grant to scale up the science education reform program for schools and districts throughout Florida and in other states.

“My goal is to have every student in Florida be engaged in science learning in ways that are meaningful and equitable for all learners,” Pringle said. “The College of Education is impacting and making a difference in science education throughout Florida and beyond.”

Jennifer Mesa, who was mentored by Pringle throughout her time as a doctoral student at UF, nominated Pringle for the award based on her dedication to helping other teachers improve the quality of science education.

“Dr. Pringle is a gentle soul, but a fierce teacher educator,” said Mesa, who now works as an assistant professor in education at the University of West Florida. “She will not let any teacher leave her presence without learning something new that can benefit student learning.”

Pringle, who has led the development of a new master’s degree and certificate program in science education at UF, is no stranger to professional accolades. Last year, she received three state and regional honors for excellence in teacher education or outstanding student mentoring – from the Florida Association of Teacher Educators, the Florida Education Fund and the Southeastern region of ASTE. She also is a two-time winner of the College of Education’s Teacher of the Year Award.


CONTACTS
    SOURCE: Rose Pringle, UF College of Education; 352-273-4190
    WRITER: Katelin Mariner, UF College of Education; 352-273-4449
    MEDIA LIAISON: Larry Lansford, communications director, UF College of Education; 352-273-4137