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New paper wins award from teacher education group

  |   Kristen B. Morales   |   Permalink

A new paper co-authored by a College of Education professor has been recognized by a national teacher-education organization.

The Association for Science Teacher Education recently selected the paper, "Prevalence and Predictors of Out-of-Field in the First Five Years," for its 2017 Implications for Research for Educational Practice award. The paper was the result of a collaborative effort by former doctoral student Ryan Nixon (now assistant professor at Brigham Young University), Richard Ross (a doctoral candidate in the UGA department of statistics) and professor Julie Luft.

Luft was Nixon's dissertation advisor and is the Athletic Association Professor of Science Education in the College's department of mathematics and science education. Her expertise is in science teacher education.

The paper uses data from Luft's National Science Foundation study on beginning secondary science teachers. In tracking data on around 120 teachers during their first five years of teaching, Nixon, Ross and Luft found they were often assigned to teach science disciplines outside of their specialty. The research team also identified factors associated with teaching out of field. These findings underscored the importance of exploring different ways to prepare science teachers to teach multiple science disciplines.

The award will be given at the association's annual awards and business luncheon in January. The Association for Science Teacher Education works to advance scholarship, collaboration and innovation in science teacher education.

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