Educators present 1,100 research projects as part of award-winning UF program

Published: May 3 2011

Category:Education, Florida, Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — More than 1,300 public school educators are presenting 1,100 problem-shooting research projects this month at University of Florida showcases around the state.

The UF Lastinger Center for Learning, part of UF’s College of Education, is staging the showcases with its partner school districts in Miami-Dade, Duval, Pinellas and Collier counties as part of its award-winning Florida Master Teacher Initiative. The events highlight educator-conducted, classroom-oriented inquiry projects, which aim to boost student achievement.

“The learning showcases underline some of the deep, meaningful work that teachers are doing in our partner schools,” said Don Pemberton, director of the UF Lastinger Center. “I always marvel at the scope and breadth of the projects. Their questions and solutions enlighten us all.”

The number of research presentations has grown steadily each year. In 2010, teachers presented 921 projects. Some teachers are participating for the first time; others, like Judith Rosen of Greynolds Park Elementary in Miami, are veterans.

“This experience, which really respects the individual knowledge and expertise of educators, is so empowering,” Rosen said.

Guided by UF Lastinger Center professors-in-residence and facilitators, the teachers address practical issues in their classrooms using the latest research and best practices, implement changes and share the results with their colleagues around the state.

Here are two examples:

1. “A Different Perspective on Behavior Intervention.” Two first-grade teachers at George Washington Carver Elementary in Jacksonville examined whether students improve their behavior if they discuss their daily goals with a person other than their classroom teacher? The answer: yes.

2. “Venturing with Vocabulary.” A third-grade teacher at Westgate Elementary in
St. Petersburg tested whether having a daily vocabulary routine improved his students’ reading comprehension. The answer: yes.

Pinellas and Duval will hold their showcases May 11 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater and University of North Florida Center in Jacksonville, respectively. Collier is having its event May 19 at Pinecrest Elementary School in Immokalee and Miami-Dade’s is on May 21 at Miami Beach Senior High School.

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 create, field-test, scale and disseminate new models and strategies to transform teaching and learning throughout the world.


Alyson Adams ,, 352-273-4107

Category:Education, Florida, Research