2014 Journals

1.  What is STEM Education and Why Is It Important?

Florida Association of Teacher Educators Journal Volume 1 Number 14 2014 1-9.

David W. White, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida

This article looks at many aspects of STEM education, both in k-12 education as well as the post-secondary arena. The article provides a historical perspective regarding the roots of STEM and then follows up with the contemporary aspects of STEM education. The “T & E” of STEM education are also explored. The article culminates with the roles teaches play in STEM education.


2.  Being a Superhero: Evolving into the Resilient First Year Teacher and Beyond

Florida Association of Teacher Educators Journal Volume 1 Number 14 2014 1-9.

Lori Dassa, Florida Atlantic University

Every year new teachers enter the field but many do not stay past their first year. These beginning teachers struggle with curriculum, mandates, procedures, students, and everything that is thrown at them. In reality these beginning teachers struggle with establishing themselves as a teacher, identifying how and what they want to teach, and how they want to connect with their colleagues. These struggles need to be conquered before they can even begin to successfully work with their students and endure the first year of teaching.

3.  Fostering Equitable School Contexts: Bringing a Social Justice Lens to Field Supervision

Florida Association of Teacher Educators Journal Volume 1 Number 14
2014 1-16. http://www.fate1.org/journals/2014/Jacobs.pdf

Jennifer Jacobs, University of South Florida

Given the inequities present within schools today and NCATE’s (2010) Blue Ribbon report, this article strongly advocates for using clinical experiences to help support the development of teacher candidates who are culturally responsive, equity-minded and committed to creating a more socially just education system. Specifically, this article provides a model for how a social justice lens can be brought to the process of field supervision. In addition vignettes are provided to illustrate how clinical experiences can become potential tools to foster teacher professional learning in creating just and equitable school contexts.

4.  Who’s Tutoring Who? Reflections from a Field-Based Elementary Mathematics Methods Course

Florida Association of Teacher Educators Journal Volume 1 Number 14
2014 1-16. http://www.fate1.org/journals/2014/boote.pdf

Stacy K. Boote, University of North Florida

The purpose of this paper is to describe the perceptions and experiences of preservice teachers enrolled in an elementary mathematics methods course that met each week at an urban
Professional Development School. The preservice teachers tutored a group of the lowest 25% in mathematics for 30 minutes during class each week. Twenty-three sets of reflection letters were analyzed. Four themes emerged: (1) Teaching was much harder than simply knowing the content to be taught, (2) Using physical manipulatives during instruction was imperative, (3) Focusing on student error patterns drove instructional interventions, and (4) Understanding how the complexity of students’ lives can inhibit learning created empathy. The four themes all reflected preservice teachers’ emerging pedagogical content knowledge and suggested the value of the embedded tutoring model.
Keywords: elementary mathematics methods course, pedagogical content knowledge, preservice teachers, Professional Development School (PDS), tutoring

5.  Meaningful Mentoring: A Source of Hope in Elementary Classrooms in the Mississippi Delta

Florida Association of Teacher Educators Journal Volume 1 Number 14
2014 1-16. http://www.fate1.org/journals/2014/SheillsandRutherford.pdf

Ashley Parker Sheils, Southern Methodist University
Angela Rutherford, University of Mississippi

The purpose of this paper is to highlight a multi-year mentoring partnership between teachers in a public elementary school in the impoverished Mississippi Delta and faculty members at the University of Mississippi. Features of this partnership, such as implementing job-embedded professional development, developing side-by-side collaboration, and utilizing data to build a culture of literacy contributed to increased academic outcomes for students as well as improved attitudes and use of evidence-based instructional approaches among teachers. End-of-year state test scores and teacher surveys served as outcome measures. This information is intended to spur others to invest in mentoring partnerships between school districts and universities or colleges with the intent to empower teachers and cultivate future leaders.

6.  Intercultural Mindedness: Teachers Left Behind

Florida Association of Teacher Educators Journal Volume 1 Number 14 2014 1-14.

Kaori I. Burkart, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida
Carla J. Thompson, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida

United States teacher education programs stand at an important transitional period within the context of a complex multicultural society. An increasingly diversifying student population contrasts with teaching professionals whose demographics haven’t changed as rapidly. Preservice teachers from seven institutions in the State University System of Florida were surveyed to assess their current state of intercultural-mindedness. The results suggest that dominant groups exhibit lower intercultural sensitivity and global competence compared to the rest of the population.

7.  Implementing a Full-Year Elementary Internship: Challenges and Successes

Florida Association of Teacher Educators Journal Volume 1 Number 14 2014 1-13.

Suzanne McWhorter Colvin, University of Florida
Natalie Khoury Ridgewell, University of Florida

This study examines implementation of a full-year internship at a Florida state university. Data were collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews to solicit participants’ perspectives of the full-year internship. Seven mentor teachers, seven interns, five university supervisors, and five-course instructors comprised the total sample. Interns and mentor teachers were randomly selected and members of the research team conducted interviews, using questions collectively determined by the researchers. Interviews were transcribed and then analyzed using thematic analysis. Open and selective coding was documented on a spreadsheet and analyzed for emerging patterns and themes. As patterns or themes emerged, analysis across participants was conducted, and researchers noted if those themes crossed more than one group. Data collected highlighted both successful components of the program and difficulties.

8. Problem-Based Learning among Pre-Service Teachers: Implications for Teacher Preparation and Professional Collaboration

Florida Association of Teacher Educators Journal Volume 1 Number 14 2014 1-13.

Beth Morton Christian, Tennessee State University
Heather Dillard, Middle Tennessee State University
Reney McAtee, Battle Ground Academy

The purpose of this study was to examine how problem-based learning (PBL) incorporated into a literacy methods course influenced the preparation of pre-service teachers. Problem-based learning in teacher education simulates problems faced by teachers and students in kindergarten through twelfth grade classrooms. In this study, pre-service teachers worked collaboratively to solve problems and make recommendations for an English language learner who struggled with reading across the curriculum. Findings suggest that participation in PBL increased collective efficacy and problem solving skills. Furthermore, problem-based learning allowed the instructor to meet course objectives in a way that engaged students and required them to take ownership of their learning. Implications for teacher preparation include the use of PBL cases in pre-service education to prepare pre-service teachers for professional collaboration as well as culturally relevant literacy practices.

9.  Preparing Elementary Teachers for Engineering Design: Perceptions of their Experiences

Florida Association of Teacher Educators Journal Volume 1 Number 14 2014 1-13.

Bobby Jeanpierre, University of Central Florida

The new Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting, Concepts, and Core Ideas (NRC, 2012) includes engineering design as an integral part of k-12 science education. This is the first time that engineering for all students has been included in science education standards. This action research study sought to uncover elementary teachers’ perceptions of engineering design. Sixteen elementary teachers in a Space Science for Educators course completed a survey of their perceptions of engineering, completed an end-of-course evaluation, and developed a lesson plan which addressed the new engineering concepts and practices. These data showed that overall, teachers were positive about their engineering experiences in the space science class, but most were reluctant to teach engineering to their students. It appears that similar self-efficacy concerns that elementary teachers demonstrate as it relates to science teaching may affect how they teach engineering to their students. As a science education community, we will need to address this issue and provide teachers with in depth, ongoing professional learning support to assist them in gaining the confidence, skills and competence as life-long learners is needed to implement the new Framework as intended.

10. Perceptions of Effective Teaching: Teacher Candidates, Novice Teachers, and Teacher Educators Describe Effectiveness

Florida Association of Teacher Educators Journal Volume 1 Number 14, 2014 1-17.

Matthew R. Lavery, University of Central Florida
Tiffany Treimanis, University of Central Florida

In this qualitative, grounded theory study, five preservice teachers, two early career inservice teachers, and two teacher educators were interviewed about their beliefs about teacher effectiveness. Participants identify four themes related to effectiveness: 1) that effective teaching is complex and requires sufficient skill in several different essential capacities (content knowledge, pedagogy, classroom management, and social and emotional support); 2) that effective teachers know their students and their unique individual situations, interests, and needs; 3) that effective teachers foster learning in each student through individualized, relevant, and engaging instruction; and 4) that effective teachers continually improve through reflective practice, professional development, and collaboration. Participants reveal that their understandings of effective teaching are consistent with prominent research in the field and that they want to continually improve through reflection on detailed and informative feedback.