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Buxton named UGA Athletic Association Professor in Education

  |   Michael Childs   |   Permalink   |   News Release,   Spotlight

Cory Buxton, a professor in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice in the University of Georgia College of Education, has been named the UGA Athletic Association Professor in Education.

Buxton has spent the last five years working on a National Science Foundation-funded project to improve science learning for English Language Learners. His research has gained national and international prominence as teachers, administrators and policymakers seek ways to address the growing cultural and linguistic diversity of the U.S. student population, the increasing cognitive and linguistic demands inherent in the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards, and the increase in test-driven evaluation systems for students and teachers.

At the local level, his research focuses on increasing college and career competitiveness among Latino student populations. Buxton and his colleagues have been working with students, teachers and parents in area middle schools to help students enhance their scientific thinking, use of academic language in and beyond science class, and understanding that success in science can lead to broader academic success. This work is having a direct impact on Latino families' educational decision making, as the first students who worked with this program are now high school seniors, a number of whom will be first-generation college students in the fall. As one parent described the influence of this project, "I would not have considered that my children could go to college. That didn't seem like a path open to them. But now I understand both why it is important and that it is possible."

At a broader level, the research has led to the development of a teaching model for promoting language-rich science inquiry and a multifaceted professional learning framework for supporting teachers in applying the model in their classrooms. This research is challenging and expanding some of the core assumptions about teacher professional development for meeting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Buxton has been invited to share this research and to work with educators in several major multilingual urban school districts, including Las Vegas, San Francisco and New York City.

Buxton has received a number of past awards, including the Southern Educational Research Association outstanding paper award in 2008. He is a Fellow of the UGA Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Education and Human Development. He has authored three books, including Diversity and Equity in Science Education: Research, Policy, and Practice, as well as more than 60 journal articles, book chapters and technical reports on the topic of creating more equitable and meaningful science learning experiences for all students and particularly for ELLs.

Buxton teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in the middle grades education program on topics including planning, teaching and assessing students in ways that build on and enhance their strengths, prior experiences and interests. He also teaches doctoral seminars on academic writing, including writing successful grants.

Student evaluations speak of his "genuine, authentic instruction," and his "way of incorporating the real world into standards that we will need to teach."

Buxton joined the UGA faculty in 2008. He received his Ph.D. in science education from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2000 and was previously a faculty member at the University of New Orleans and the University of Miami.

The UGA Athletic Association has funded professorships since 2006 as a demonstration of its commitment to academics. Buxton's professorship is effective August 2014.

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