Luft named 2023 Fellow by the American Educational Research Association
Julie Luft, the Athletic Association Professor of Science Education and Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Social Studies Education, was recently selected as a 2023 Fellow by the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
Founded in 1916, AERA is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. The association advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.
This year, the AERA Fellows Program honored 24 scholars for their exceptional contributions to, and excellence in, education research.
“This is a wonderful professional honor,” said Luft. “But like any honor, it is not an accomplishment of one. This honor has its foundation in my parents, who were both science teachers, and it is a result of the many curious and passionate graduate students I have worked with over the years.”
Nominated by peers, the 2023 Fellows were selected by AERA’s Fellows Committee and approved by the AERA Council, the association’s elected governing body.
“This honor would not be possible without the support of my administrators and colleagues in the Mary Frances Early College of Education,” said Luft. “They, along with the UGA Athletic Association and UGA Distinguished Research Professorship, ensure that I am supported to tackle important problems associated with science teacher education.”
Influenced by years of teaching middle and high school science, Luft’s research focuses on how to best support science teachers in building their knowledge and instructional practice. Her studies explore science teacher development, professional development programming and the knowledge and practices of beginning secondary science teachers.
Her current work explores how teacher leaders influence the instruction of science teachers and the resiliency of newly hired science teachers.
“Like many academics, I don’t do this work for the awards, but to make a difference in something,” said Luft. “For me, this difference is in the lives of science teachers. As a former teacher and coming from a family of teachers—many who have and still teach science—I am aware of many topics of study that could make a difference in the lives of teachers. These are the studies I elect to pursue.”
Luft will be inducted during a ceremony at AERA’s 2023 annual meeting in Chicago on April 14.