Nancy Fichtman Dana
University of Florida
Nancy Fichtman Dana, Ph.D., is currently Professor of Education in the School of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education at the University of Florida. While gaining experience as a public school teacher for Hannibal Central Schools in New York, she earned her Master of Science degree from State University of New York at Oswego in 1988, and subsequently earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree from Florida State University in 1991. She served on the faculty of The Pennsylvania State University for eleven years before being appointed to the faculty at University of Florida in 2003.
Dr. Dana’s research focuses on practitioner inquiry (also known as teacher inquiry, practitioner research, or action research) as a professional learning strategy. She examines the ways this form of professional learning impacts individual educators, as well as the schools in which they enact their practice. She has published eleven books and over 100 referred journal articles and book chapters related to teachers’, teacher candidates’, administrators’, and teacher educators’ professional learning through inquiry. Her text, The Reflective Educator’s Guide to Classroom Research: Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn through Practitioner Inquiry is in its fourth edition. She has won several awards for her teaching, research and writing including the Association of Teacher Educators Mentoring and Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Awards and the National Staff Development Council (now Learning Forward) Book of the Year Award. In 2019, she was named one of three finalists for the prestigious Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching given by Baylor University. Further, she has secured over 4 million dollars in grants focused on teacher professional development.
In addition to her work as a distinguished researcher and teacher at University of Florida, Dr. Dana works extensively in supporting schools, districts and universities in implementing powerful programs of job-embedded professional learning through teacher research/inquiry in several states and countries. Her travels have included work in Belgium, the Netherlands, China, South Korea, Estonia, Slovenia, and Portugal, where she delivered a week-long course on inquiry for representatives from nine different European nations. Her work on inquiry-oriented pedagogy has been translated into several different languages.
At University of Florida, she has worked to embed inquiry as a signature pedagogy into the undergraduate teacher education program, as well as developed and taught two popular classes on inquiry at the Masters and Doctoral levels. She was instrumental in the development of UF’s Teacher Leadership for School Improvement Program and Professional Practice Doctorate in Curriculum Teaching, and Teacher Education, programs recognized by U.S. News and World Report as the Number One Online Graduate Education Programs in the nation.