Professor of Education
College of Education
When Alachua County’s Duval Elementary School improved from an F grade to an A on the state’s grading system in just one year, education Professor Elizabeth Bondy couldn’t have been prouder.
As Duval’s “professor-in-residence,” Bondy worked closely with teachers, children, administrators and families to improve the achievement of students.
Bondy and her team have conducted studies to identify the most effective strategies used by teachers at a school where nearly 100 percent of children receive free or reduced lunches.
“We’ve focused intensively on two teachers whose students scored quite well on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test,” Bondy says. “What they had in common was that both focused on helping the students tune into their own thinking. They used techniques to make children aware of what their brains were doing, helping kids think in ways they perhaps haven’t before.”
For instance, when a child was trying to figure out a difficult math problem, the teacher would have him draw a picture of what his brain was doing at the time. All of the data gathered is qualitative and consists of observations and interviews, rather than statistics.
Bondy also coordinates the College of Education’s Bright Futures program, which assigns juniors majoring in education to work individually with children who live in local public housing neighborhoods. Twice a week, students visit a community center in a low-income neighborhood and work with children and families.
Bondy studies what future teachers learn as they participate in this program. “We want future teachers to learn how to interact with different people and cultures so they can take what they’ve learned and apply it in the classroom,” Bondy says