Students Present Undergraduate Research Project in Teacher Education to Statewide Audience
FORT MYERS, FL - At a statewide institute in May sponsored by a personnel development program of the Florida Department of Education, four Florida Gulf Coast University students presented their own personal studies resulting from one professor’s project that explores the value that undergraduate research adds to teacher preparation.
Spring 2002 graduates Jolie Ducey from Immokalee, Vicki McWorter from Fort Myers, Robin Mills from Cape Coral and Stacy Thomas from Fort Myers, presented their research findings, which resulted from participation in the “Action Research” project, during the Florida Comprehensive System of Personnel Development program’s Eighth Annual Institute in Clearwater in May.
The project’s creator Marci Greene, professor and chair of the FGCU Division of Teacher Education, also presented the project itself, which develops the basic research skills necessary to conduct effective in-class research and to generate an action research proposal.
“The foundation of a quality undergraduate teacher-training program is the scientific method with structured opportunities for undergraduates to conceive, design and execute quality qualitative research,” Greene says in her abstract. “Providing the tools and training for undergraduate research ensures that teachers make informed, research-based decisions and solve educational problems from an empirical perspective. The College of Education at Florida Gulf Coast University implements an action research teacher training model that is a most promising practice and is consistent with national trends.”
As first-semester seniors, the students enrolled in Assessment and Action Research with visiting professor Andrew McConney. During their second senior semester, the students implemented their action research projects in their student teaching under the direction and guidance of their professors and mentors - FGCU professors Elizabeth Elliot, Cynthia Lott and Charleen Olliff.
The future teachers collected data, analyzed results and reported findings during the FGCU College of Education’s juried exhibition. The College later chose the students to present a summary of their findings in both research paper and presentation poster formats at the Institute.
The Florida CSPD program supports efforts to ensure adequate numbers of qualified personnel meet Florida’s educational needs of infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. The Southwest Florida CSPD Partnership, administered by the College of Education, includes Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.
Using State Incentive Grant funds allocated for Career Awareness and Pre-Service Recruitment, the Southwest Florida CSPD Partnership sponsored the students. Twelve council members, including FGCU faculty, district administrators, parents and community members representing the public school systems in the area also attended.
For more information, contact CSPD/SIG project coordinator Patty O’Grady at (941) 590-7747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.