In recognition of its academic innovation, the UF Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education Program has been honored with the Rose Duhon-Sells Award by the National Association of Multicultural Education (NAME). The award acknowledges the program’s dedication to preparing future educators to serve all students by emphasizing the importance of accessible learning environments.

Newly released in 2021, the Elementary Education program has quickly distinguished itself for its innovative teacher-preparation pedagogy. The faculty, composed of seasoned teachers and scholars, developed a curriculum that focuses on contemporary approaches to accessible learning. 

We designed a successful, model curriculum that supports 21st century skill development in today’s teacher candidates,”  said program coordinator Timothy Vetere, Ph.D. “When our students graduate, they will be able to address the needs of students in K-6 classrooms effectively.”

Dr. Vetere was recently invited to speak at the annual NAME Conference in Montgomery, Alabama.

“I was able to share my experiences as a program coordinator with the objective of creating a space where myself and other teacher educators at peer institutions across the country could support one another,” said Vetere.

The presentation focused on overcoming the challenges of creating a curriculum that draws focus on a more inclusive and equitable tomorrow. 

“My presentation provided an overview of the challenges and tensions that emerged among teacher candidates and instructors in the launching of a new elementary education teacher preparation program,” said Vetere. “To do this, I focused on the ways we worked to negotiate those challenges successfully to prepare effective, transformative educators that are able to meet the needs of today’s students.

Receiving the Rose Duhon-Sells Award signifies how UF is advancing the teaching profession. With a curriculum that actively integrates inclusive teaching methodologies, it fosters a dynamic learning environment that equips students to teach with equity.

Timothy Vetere, Ph.D.