Dr. Rose Pringle, Associate Professor of Science Education, is the Co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation grant designed to transform science teaching and learning in middle schools. The grant, known as U-FUTuRES (University of Florida Unites Teachers to Reform Education in Science), will accomplish this by training a cohort of 40 science teacher leaders over two years with continued support for three years as they begin to work in their respective school districts.

“As teacher leaders, they’re going to be leading transformation in their districts using a coherent research based curriculum called IQWST,” Dr. Pringle says. “In U-FUTuRES, we’re preparing them to become science teacher leaders; we’re preparing them with deep knowledge of the science content related to the curriculum, with pedagogy aligned to how children learn, ways to involve formative assessment in their teaching, and specific leadership and coaching skills to facilitate their work with colleagues.”

Rose sees her role as a researcher in the context of contributing to the greater good. By developing a research-based model for preparing effective science teachers, she is helping to reach the goal that all students will be scientifically literate, be better prepared to participate in 21st Century workforce and with many choosing science related career pathways.

U-FUTuRES uses a trickling-out model of teaching. The 40 teacher leaders trained in the program will in turn train 10 more of their colleagues in their districts. This trickling-out model will hopefully serve to encourage even more participants in the program, outside of the initial 40 teachers.

“I work at the elbows of teachers to scaffold the enactment of this new curriculum, to guide them into best practices, and to help them understand how all children learn including those who traditionally are underrepresented in science,” Dr. Pringle says.