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Florida Institute of Education

FIE projects address critical educational issues in Florida. Working with local, regional, and statewide initiatives, these projects cover a wide range of topics:

School Readiness

FIE continues to build on a rich body of research to support young children’s learning and the active engagement in that learning by their families. FIE researchers worked collaboratively with school readiness and prekindergarten teachers to develop and test innovative instructional strategies using concept mapping designed to strengthen children’s background knowledge, vocabulary, and connection-making skills. 


Early Literacy and Learning Model/Plus (ELLM/Plus)

The Early Literacy and Learning Model/Plus (ELLM/Plus) is a research-based, comprehensive curriculum for 3-, 4-, and 5-year old preschool children that has been proven to be effective improving children's early reading achievement in an experimental study. The literacy-focused curriculum builds children's cognitive development through literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, motor experiences, and physical health. Children's acquisition of important cognitive and social/emotional development is facilitated through interactions with supportive teachers and other adults who encourage children's curiosity, persistence, and creativity by planning and implementing engaging activities and providing support during learning experiences. ELLM/Plus is designed to expand children's vocabularies and refine their understanding and comprehension of words they know and use.  


Teaching with Technology

The Teaching with Technology Initiative aims to explore ways to use educational technology/digital learning tools to improve children's learning as well as to explore ways to increase teachers' access to professional learning opportunities designed to increase teachers' content, pedagogical, and technological knowledge.  


PreK-12 Education

FIE continues to promote educational opportunities for students from early childhood learning through post-secondary education. One initiative is the UNF/FIE PreCollegiate Connections: College Reach-Out Program. The program aims to increase high school students’ aspirations for enrollment and success in post-secondary education. 


Family Engagement

FIE partners with community agencies to develop a well-coordinated early learning and transition system to improve children’s achievement, promote meaningful family engagement, and provide professional learning opportunities for practitioners.


Family Child Care Homes Instructional Units

The Family Home Instructional Units are designed for Family Home providers and teachers who work with 2-,3-, and 4 year old children. The Family Home Instructional Units are supplemental curriculum that support recent emergent literacy research that strengthens children's knowledge.  


Strategic Coaching

The Florida Institute of Education created and implemented the FIE Strategic Coaching Model to help build capacity of teachers and address the school readiness gap between children living in poverty and their more affluent peers. Initially, the model focused on improving teacher skills in the areas of reading aloud, oral language, letter/sound knowledge, phonological awareness, and emergent writing.  


Concept Mapping

Concept maps are two-dimensional, hierarchical diagrams depicting relationships among concepts. Their use helps individuals visualize the structure of the mapped knowledge. The construction of concept maps helps transform non-spatial information into connected webs and, as a result, supports the development of spatial thinking both on the part of the mapper as well as those reading the maps. 


Research and Evaluation

FIE works toward this vision using a systematic approach for improving practice and informing policy, an approach which embraces a sustained commitment to research, to university/practitioner collaboration, to innovation and development, to dissemination of evidence-based tools and strategies, and to data-informed decision- and policy-making. 


FIE Doctoral Student Research Assistants

FIE provides COEHS doctoral students interested in improving educational outcomes for at-risk children and youth opportunities to work with researchers in ongoing research studies and curriculum research and development efforts taking place at FIE.