Dr. Laura Bofferding receives Purdue Faculty Engagement Scholar award

Dr. Laura Bofferding, Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education recently received the Purdue Faculty Engagement Scholar award for engagement in community educational systems. Dr. Bofferding is engaged in providing both direct and indirect support to increase connections among the Curriculum and Instruction department, local schools, and families.

Dr. Bofferding is grateful for the enthusiastic support she has received from partner schools. “This award acknowledges the importance and benefits of strengthening our university-community partnerships,” explained Dr. Bofferding. “Our preservice teachers benefit from the opportunity to work with families while providing engaging mathematics and science explorations. We plan to continue our research in this area to further enrich our partnerships through this informal learning space.”

Since joining the Purdue College of Education in 2011, Dr. Bofferding has partnered with undergraduate preservice teachers and local elementary schools to offer math and science nights for students and their families. Dr. Bofferding organizes events with the schools and supervises preservice teachers as they facilitate math and science activities one evening each semester during the school year. After observing the interaction among the preservice teachers, students, families, and their use of the educational material, Dr. Bofferding and her colleagues documented the impact of these events in multiple journal articles and have presented on their work at the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Conference.

Joann Sprunger, a local second-grade teacher, said the math and science nights provide a special opportunity for children, parents, and preservice teachers to work together collaboratively for discovery and learning. “Through continued communication with Laura, we have achieved the following goal: to better promote interaction among parents, children, and teacher candidates as well as develop activities that capture families’ curiosity and encourage conversations.” Sprunger said the positive interaction and level of engagement has benefitted many over the last six years. “The lasting benefits of these Family Math and Science Nights are endless for all stakeholders. Future educators also benefit by having an opportunity to observe, teach, and reflect on thinking strategies within family dynamics.”

Learn more about Purdue College of Education: https://www.education.purdue.edu/

Learn more about Dr. Laura Bofferding: https://www.education.purdue.edu/faculty-profiles/name/laura-bofferding/

Source: Dr. Laura Bofferding, lbofferd@purdue.edu, (765) 494-0491

Writer: Kathryn Cockerill, kcockeri@purdue.edu