An associate professor in the UF College of Education was honored by two professional teacher organizations for her work in the science education field.

Rose Pringle was awarded the John Shrum Award by the Southeastern Association for Science Teacher Education and the Mary L. Collins Award for Excellence in Teacher Education by the Florida Association of Teacher Educators.

Since 2000, Pringle has worked at UF as an assistant and associate professor teaching both graduate and undergraduate students. She said her goal is to make teachers comfortable with the content they teach and learn to engage students to learn and see science as a greater good.

“So it’s not just something from a textbook,” she said. “Science is bigger than that. It is understanding your world... You develop habits of mind — of thinking.”

Founded in 1991, the John Shrum Award recognizes individuals with a lifelong commitment to science education, participation and leadership.

For both awards, Pringle was nominated by her students.

She was chosen for the Collins Award by doctoral student Natalie Ridgewell.

“In every capacity, Dr. Pringle strengthens both our program and field, and she helps to create an outstanding learning community,” Ridgewell said.

The award is an honor presented to educators who made impacts on teacher education in Florida.

Pringle grew up in Jamaica. She said she knew she wanted to become a teacher because she was the oldest and always taught younger ones.

“Where I grew up, teaching was the ideal profession,” she said.

She said she taught high school biology, chemistry and integrated science in Jamaica. Then, through a fellowship, she attended Florida State University where she received her master’s and doctorate in science education.

One of her goals is to increase the participation of minority populations in science and education.

“Teachers have to realize they are very powerful in changing the lives of kids,” she said. “It’s not easy if you want to be an effective science education teacher. I am constantly working, but it is worth it.”

For now, Pringle works in Norman Hall with her awards tucked away in her office drawer.

“They do not define who I am,” Pringle said. “What defines me is the passion that I take to my work.”

[A version of this story ran on page 3 on 10/21/2014]

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