Julie Luft

Julie Luft
University of Georgia | UGA · Department of Mathematics & Science Education

PhD Science Education, University of Iowa

About

154
Publications
69,385
Reads
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3,646
Citations
Introduction
As a former middle and high school science teacher, it is important that my work impact the lives of science teachers. In taking this position, my work initially focused on professional development programs (PDP) for science teachers. My first PDP involved teachers watching each other in order to strengthen their instruction. Overtime, my work has shifted towards understanding and supporting newly qualified or newly hired science teachers: specifically, science-focused induction programs.
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - present
University of Georgia
Position
  • Athletic Association Professor
August 2005 - December 2011
Arizona State University
Position
  • Professor
July 2002 - July 2005
University of Texas at Austin
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (154)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
One solution to address teacher shortages in the US is to recruit more science majors into teaching careers. To better understand the motivations and factors that lead science majors to teaching careers, we conducted a qualitative study to explore the stories and experiences of four White women science major graduates currently enrolled in a teache...
Article
The early years of teaching are important for science teachers, but little is known about how science teachers develop professionally in their early years. This mixed methods study took a longitudinal view of the early years of teaching. Following 95 secondary science teachers over a 5‐year period, this study examined the beliefs, pedagogical conte...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
District Science Coordinators (DSCs) play an important role in supporting the learning and professional development (PD) of science teachers. As they work with their teachers, they guide the development of their beliefs, knowledge, mindset, and instructional practices. These are essential areas when it comes to creating equitable learning environme...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this exploratory study, we examine the patterns of science teachers' format of instruction and their implementation of Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) in those formats. Given the shifts needed for various instructional formats during COVID-19, teachers had to adapt how they integrated SEPs into their instruction. In order to understand...
Poster
Full-text available
To address this gap, we designed a yearlong PD program for DSCs consisting of three online modules. Over the course of two years, participating DSCs and a subset of their teachers are being followed to determine if the program improves their knowledge and practices. Among the DSCs, their knowledge of leadership, equitable science instruction, PD pr...
Article
This study explored the potential impact of teaching outside of one’s field of expertise. This longitudinal cross-case study examined the development of enacted pedagogical content knowledge (ePCK) among a group of in-field and out-of-field (OOF) physical science teachers during their first 3 years of teaching. The components of ePCK investigated i...
Presentation
Full-text available
District science coordinators (DSCs) are responsible for the support of their science teachers. Previous studies indicate that their leadership can have a positive impact on science teacher instructional practices and student achievements. However, many DSCs report they lack professional learning opportunities to build their instructional abilities...
Article
Science teachers must sometimes teach outside of their expertise, and this type of teaching assignment is referred to as being out-of-field. Among newly hired teachers, this type of assignment may have a detrimental impact in the development of their instruction. This study explored the classroom instruction of 17 newly hired teachers who were teac...
Poster
Full-text available
This poster, originally created for the NARST 2020 Graduate Research Symposium, describes ongoing research into the practices, attributes, and knowledge of district science coordinators (DSCs) in order to build a professional learning trajectory for DSCs.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In many countries, there is an ongoing concern about the quality of secondary science teachers. The faculty at one university sought to understand how to prepare additional secondary science teachers in ways that they would be well-started in their initial years. In order to understand the how to produce additional and well-qualified teachers, scie...
Presentation
Full-text available
In many countries, there is an ongoing concern about the quality of secondary science teachers. The faculty at one university sought to understand how to prepare additional secondary science teachers in ways that they would be well-started in their initial years. In order to understand the how to produce additional and well-qualified teachers, scie...
Article
Although new teachers clearly need resources and support, little is known about the types of resources new science teachers' access during their early years of teaching. To increase knowledge of their needs, the study described in this article focused on the primary resources (i.e., human, material, and social) and secondary resources (i.e., strate...
Article
Full-text available
Science faculty are being asked to create active learning experience that engage students in core concepts and science practices. This article describes an approach to developing active learning lessons from authentic science research projects using the 5E lesson format. Included is a description of the 5Es and a template for creating a 5E lesson....
Article
Full-text available
Although widely touted as important, there is little evidence regarding the influence of teaching experience on elementary teachers’ science subject matter knowledge (SMK). In order to better understand this phenomenon, we administered an assessment of science topics taught in the fifth and sixth grade to 169 preservice teachers, 231 fifth-grade te...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This summary specifically addresses the question of: What is the magnitude and variation of out-of-field (OOF) science teaching in elementary and secondary settings? In attempting to answer this question, there was an examination of state-level policies and state reports on OOF teaching. The process of examining these data sources are shared in the...
Poster
Full-text available
This project was developed to assess the need for mathematics and science teachers in northeast Georgia's public schools in the interest of obtaining a Noyce grant to meet those needs. Over a three-year period, faculty from different colleges met to discuss the recruitment, preparation, and induction of science teachers. The faculty formed guiding...
Chapter
School environments impact student behaviours and share specific goals, and they develop shared understandings through perceptions and experiences which demonstrate a specific culture in a school community (Shields 2002). Teacher support needs vary, but the adequacy of the support according to teacher needs will strongly influence whether teachers...
Chapter
This chapter presents vignettes from six countries regarding the phenomenon of Teaching Across Specialisations (TAS) or as it is often known teaching out-of-field. The vignettes provide an overview of the education system and policies and practices relating to teacher education, certification, recruitment and assignment to subjects or year levels....
Article
Science teacher professional development is complex. Phases in a teacher’s career necessitate different professional learning opportunities. Furthermore, knowledge bases, practices, and attributes need to be cultivated during these times. For science teachers, it is not always evident how to link professional learning opportunities progressively to...
Article
Full-text available
In many parts of the world, newly hired science teachers’ practices are developing in a complex policy environment. However, little is known about how newly hired science teachers’ practices are enacted throughout a cycle of instruction and how these practices can be influenced by macro-, meso-, and micro-policies. Knowing how policies impact pract...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this study, 19 STEM faculty were observed during their undergraduate classes. In this analysis the faculty differed by content area in their instructional activities.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study explored the teaching of different STEM faculty members at a larger research university. Data were collected using the COPUS (Smith et al., 2013), and analyzed by the content area in which the faculty member taught. The findings suggest that: faculty do teacher differently depending upon their content area. While there is more research t...
Article
Full-text available
While studies repeatedly show both the importance of teachers’ science subject matter knowledge (SMK) and that teachers have limited SMK, there are few opportunities for teachers to formally enhance their understanding of science after entering the classroom. Therefore, there is significant need for teachers to develop their SMK through classroom e...
Article
Full-text available
Many new science teachers are assigned to teach subjects in which they have not been prepared, a practice referred to as out-of-field (OOF) teaching. Teaching OOF has been shown to negatively influence instruction and constrain teachers’ development. In this study we explored the extent to which new secondary science teachers were assigned OOF acro...
Article
Full-text available
The subject matter knowledge (SMK) that a science teacher holds is considered essential to his or her teaching. As a result, researchers are exploring the SMK that teachers hold and those in teacher education are crafting programs to improve the SMK of teachers. Unfortunately, is it not clear in the educational community as to what constitutes SMK....
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter describes the use of Bridging Practices in a secondary methods course. These practices were combined with the Next Generation of Science Standards in order to strengthen the instructional practices of the early career science teachers.
Chapter
This chapter discusses practices that occur within a cycle of instruction.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Instruction that uses an active learning approach is one way to improve undergraduate learning, however, STEM faculty often find this form of instruction challenging to implement. One important factor that has been understudied is faculty conceptions of student learning. This paper describes the congruence between faculty conceptions of student lea...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In spite of compelling data that active learning environments improve STEM undergraduate learning, STEM faculty often find this form of instruction challenging to implement and favor traditional instruction that does not include class discussions, group work, or student inquiry. One way to support STEM faculty in their use of active learning is thr...
Presentation
Full-text available
Science teacher professional development is complex. There are different times in a teacher’s career that necessitate different professional learning opportunities, and there are different knowledge bases, practices, and cognitive attributes that need to be cultivated during these times. This paper recognizes these variations and conceptualizes tea...
Article
Full-text available
Science teachers need to understand the subject matter they teach. While some evidence suggests that subject matter knowledge (SMK) can improve with classroom teaching experience, it is problematic that many secondary science teachers have left the profession before garnering extensive classroom experience. Furthermore, many new science teachers ar...
Poster
Full-text available
This study seeks to expand the literature base on effective professional development programs on active learning in higher education. This poster shares a new, ongoing research project that compares changes in faculty perceptions of student learning. Participating faculty are part of one of four naturally occurring Science, Technology, Engineering,...
Article
Full-text available
In Turkey, funding for higher education institutions has increased drastically in the last ten years. This has caused a profound increase in the number of new universities and undergraduates. As a result, there has been a focus on the design and construction of new buildings on the campuses, but not in the design of the classrooms. This oversight h...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Science teacher professional development is complex. There are different periods in a teacher's career that necessitate different professional learning opportunities, and there are different knowledge bases, practices, and attributes that need to be cultivated during these times. For science teachers, it is not always evident how to progress toward...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Science teacher professional development is complex. There are different periods in a teacher's career that necessitate different professional learning opportunities, and there are different knowledge bases, practices, and attributes that need to be cultivated during these times. For science teachers, it is not always evident how to progress toward...
Data
Full-text available
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This presentation suggests that newly hired teachers of science can be important indicators that direct how we design preservice and inservice programs. Data and international data are used to set the context, and future directions for research are suggested.
Article
Full-text available
This article is written for teachers who want to know what to look for in a professional development program. There are three broad areas to consider and there is even a guiding checklist! The suggestions for teachers are based on research drawn from the Luft and Hewson (2014) chapter on professional development in the Handbook of Research in Scien...
Article
Full-text available
While many studies focus on why teachers leave the classroom, there remains a need to study why teachers persist in teaching. One area to study is the beliefs of teachers, which may impact persistence in the field. This 5-year mixedmethods study explored whether 35 beginning secondary science teachers’ beliefs were related to their persistence in t...
Book
The challenge of developing the expertise teachers need to implement the NGSS presents an opportunity to rethink professional learning for science teachers. This is a guide for classrooms, departments, schools and districts, and professional organizations. The book can be downloaded (for free) from http://www.nap.edu/read/21836/chapter/1
Chapter
Full-text available
Teaching a subject in which the teacher had not been prepared, known as out-of-field teaching, is a concern worldwide. Out-of-field teaching is especially common in science teaching and among new teachers. The major concern with out-of-field teaching is decreased teaching effectiveness due to limited content knowledge. Recent research has conceptua...
Book
Full-text available
This is a general overview about the need to improve undergraduate STEM education, how students learning, and strategies to help students learn.
Book
Full-text available
New teacher support programs ensure that new teachers thrive in the classroom. This book is in response to the need to have well-conceived new teacher support programs for science teachers. With chapters by science supervisors, professional development specialists, science education faculty, and educational researchers, this book contains different...
Chapter
Full-text available
An ongoing concern of policy makers has been the content knowledge of teachers. With the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, secondary teachers were mandated to adequately demonstrate their competence in a particular subject area. More recently, the America Competes Act (2007) emphasized the importance of strong content knowledge among...
Article
Full-text available
Science teachers are constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve the learning of their students. They often participate in various types of professional development programs (PDPs): workshops, institutes, professional learning communities, or coursework at universities. These diverse programs provide teachers with new knowledge, insights abou...
Article
Full-text available
The article can be downloaded for free from this link: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/7t9udHAKEewY7MzD5gH8/full Abstract Newly hired teachers of science have captured the interests of policy makers and teacher educators. In order to assist both groups in making decisions pertaining to the preparation and support of newly hired teachers of scie...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Two events are impacting science teacher education: the release of the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) (Achieve, 2012) and the national focus on teacher quality (Darling-Hammond, et al., 2011). Caught in the confluence of these two events, science teachers will need to have sound content knowledge to meet these standards and as they are...
Chapter
The inception of this chapter was actually quite personal, as its birth was a direct result of my own long, convoluted, and sometimes painful scholastic journey. Not infrequently, I would find myself pondering, “Of what does the actual evidence of one’s authentic self, one’s “identity,” consist? How can I best perceive and understand this identity?...
Chapter
Teacher attrition is a critical issue, as nearly half of beginning teachers leave the teaching field by their fifth year (Ingersoll, 2001; Ingersoll, 2012; Macdonald, 1999). Additional studies have found that secondary teachers, especially in science and mathematics, were more likely to leave the field than elementary teachers (Guarino, Santibanez,...
Chapter
The prevalence of out-of-field teaching—when a teacher is assigned a subject in which he or she is not prepared—has sparked concern around the world. Studies across many nations have shown that high percentages of teachers are assigned to teach out-of-field (Du Plessis, 2005; Ingersoll, 2008; Ríordáin & Hannigan, 2011; Tasmanian Audit Office, 2010)...
Chapter
This book adds to the current discussion about newly hired science teachers. Collectively, the authors provide insights that are related to both research and practice. The research suggestions emerge from studies of new teachers, while the practical side of this book presents approaches to supporting new teachers that are grounded in research. With...
Article
Full-text available
When contemplating how to support new teachers, there is a need to be guided by educational research. This article attempts to fill the void about supporting new science teachers by connecting research to practice. Furthermore, this article draws upon current work in the field and is presented in a manner appropriate for secondary science teachers...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we provide promising examples of professional development (PD) programmes for teachers targeted at using inquiry-based approaches. This chapter summarises a symposium at the 2011 ESERA involving researchers from Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. Two main questions guided the discussion: (1) What are your views for supporti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Science teacher educators have acknowledged that the first years of teaching are critical in the development of a teacher. This mixed methods study focuses on the first five years of 95 beginning content specialists, with the intention of understanding how their first years in the classroom impacts their development as newly hired science teachers....
Book
Full-text available
This edited book provides science teacher educators and science educational researchers with a current overview on the roles of beliefs in science education settings. There are four focal areas in the book: an overview of this field of research, lines of research, implications for policy, and implications for educators. Within each of these areas t...
Article
Full-text available
The first years of teaching are often discussed with reference to all teachers. More studies focusing on early career content specialists are needed in order to ensure that teachers are supported adequately as they learn to teach in their content area. In this study, we followed 76 newly hired secondary science teachers to determine how their teach...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Internationally, beginning teachers are in a formative phase of their professional learning trajectory and are informed by global, national, and local pressures. However, little is known about how different levels of policy (macro, meso, micro) influence beginning teachers’ actions through an instructional cycle of planning, teaching, and reflectio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Teachers are professional learners and leaders. They seek to understand how their students are learning, they participate in programs that provide them with new instructional skills and curricular materials, and they engage in programs that help them participate in their community. This study follows a science teacher leadership program over a thre...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter illustrates why the examination of teacher beliefs is important in light of forthcoming and accepted educational policies. We discuss the interface between beliefs research and policy, propose a guiding model that links policy and teacher beliefs research, and suggest different research approaches in the context of this model.