Developing master teachers

The UF Lastinger Center develops master teachers in vulnerable schools. We engage talented, skilled teams of professors and researchers, front-line educators, highly skilled partners, and philanthropic, social and educational sector leaders to develop breakthroughs and educational innovations that have a strong potential to transform teaching and learning.

The Lastinger Center’s Master Teacher Initiative, developed in conjunction with the UF College of Education’s School of Teaching and Learning, is emerging as a potential national model for innovative, high-quality, cost-effective professional development.

The Master Teacher Initiative’s graduate component, the Teacher Leadership for School Improvement, offers teachers in high-needs schools a free, job-embedded UF master’s or specialist’s degree through onsite and online courses. The inquiry-based program provides teachers with the framework to immediately put new knowledge into classroom practice and evaluate its effectiveness.

The Association of Teacher Educators named the Master Teacher Initiative the country’s best teacher development program, and the U.S. Department of Education selected it as one of the most promising approaches to improve teacher quality.

Here are some of the stories that illustrate our teacher-development work:

  • Molding Master Teachers. This short documentary and an accompanying pamphlet shine a light on the groundbreaking job-embedded Master Teacher Initiative. It features some of the program’s creators and participants, including teachers in vulnerable schools. Read about this program and view a short documentary about it.
  • STEM + Arts Initiative. The College Board magazine Voices in the Arts published UF Lastinger Center Director Don Pemberton’s article about our efforts to infuse the arts into science and math instruction. Check out our STEM efforts.
  • On-the-Job Graduate Degrees. The graduate component of the Master Teacher Initiative, the Teacher Leadership for School Improvement program, is a two-and-a-half-year intense immersion in job-embedded professional development. Explore our graduate courses.

  • Revolutionizing professional development: By marshaling the expertise of the University of Florida, we develop practical, effective and research-based approaches to improve instruction. We work hand-in-hand with educators and community leaders to create innovative, interconnected and interdependent initiatives that focus on teacher development. Read about our professional development initiatives.
  • Lastinger and partners win innovation grant: The UF Lastinger Center’s Florida Master Teacher Initiative earned a highly coveted $6 million U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) grant. Explore our latest effort.
  • It all adds up for math professor: Math education professor Thomasenia Adams is working to bring the Master Teacher Initiative to math and science educators in secondary schools. Check out her story.