School of Teacher Education
Sherry A. Southerland is the Anne & John Daves Professor of Science Education and the Director of the School of Teacher Education. Her research focuses on the identification of the factors that influence the development of science proficiency for all students (with a particular emphasis on students traditionally underserved in science classrooms)—with the recognition that proficiency involves the ability to apply knowledge, practices, and patterns of reasoning to allow the learner to make sense of phenomena in their everyday lives. One branch of Southerland’s research agenda involves the study of the development of students’ sense-making and affect related to science. The second branch involves the examination of ambitious science teaching practices and teacher moves that best support that development for a wide range of student learners. The third branch of her research agenda involves the examination of factors that influence teacher learning, particularly as it relates to their assumptions about the capabilities of their students and how those capabilities may shape the effectiveness of ambitious science teaching practices.