North Florida educators converge on UF for FATE showcase

GAINESVILLE, FL – More than 300 practicing and future teachers, teacher educators and educational administrators—mainly from North Florida’s I-10 corridor—converged on the University of Florida campus April 21 for the 2012 multi-regional conference and inquiry showcase of the Florida Association of Teacher Educators (FATE).

The conference theme was “Teacher Learning and Practice Across the I-10 Corridor,” with participating educators hailing from the western Florida Panhandle counties to Jacksonville on Florida’s east coast, and as far south as the Alachua County and Marion County school districts in northcentral Florida.

All conference sessions and activities will be in Gainesville at UF’s Norman Hall, home of UF’s College of Education, from 9:45 a.m. until 4 p.m. Norman Hall is located on the southeast corner of UF’s campus at 605 SW 13th Street.

Darby Delane

Conference sessions showcased successful applications of teacher inquiry—also called action research—with attending educators sharing their findings from classroom-oriented research projects conducted to improve their own teaching practices, with enhanced student learning as the metric for success.

“Inquiry, or action research, is gaining popularity as an effective strategy for job-embedded, teacher professional development and school improvement,” said Darby Delane, school-university partnerships coordinator at UF’s College of Education.

Darby and UF lecturer Shelley Warm, who coordinates the college’s SITE educational preparation institute, represented UF on the 2012 FATE conference planning committee.

Several North Florida school districts and teacher-education programs from UF, University of North Florida, Florida A&M, Tallahassee Community College and Daytona State College will be represented at the conference, along with several higher-education institutions and school districts from central Florida regions of FATE.

Pertinent session topics included:

—  Preparing African-American, low-income and first-generation students for college achievement

—  Social media as a learning tool

—  Saving rural and inner-city schools through university-school partnerships

—  Social studies: the disappearing subject

—  Help stop the revolving door of science teachers

—  Cultural competence: Essential skills for new teachers

—  Professional Development Schools

A sampling of presentations by UF education faculty and students includes:

—  The UF Literacy Initiative, a promising intervention model for preventing reading difficulties in young children

—  How race and gender play a role in students’ classroom discipline

—  How UF is shifting its elementary teacher preparation program to meet today’s education needs

—  Behavior management without raising your voice

—  Breaking the code: an approach to increasing math FCAT scores


   SOURCE: Darby Delane, university-school partnerships coordinator, UF College of Education,; (w) 352-273-4191

   WRITER: Larry Lansford, director, news and communications, UF College of Education;; 352-273-4137