Leanne Wells

Leanne Wells

I graduated with physics and mathematics degrees from Salisbury University and a MS in Mathematics from Clemson University. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana I taught mathematics, electronics, and physics. I spent nearly five years in Africa discovering the joys and difficulties of teaching. It was that experience that made me appreciate the social, collaborative nature of learning and enticed me to pursue teaching as a career. Upon returning to the States, I was recruited to work as a lead teacher for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools/FIU math and science Partnership in Academic Communities (PAC) program for at-risk kids. This program gave me the opportunity to collaborate with faculty in both Education and Arts & Sciences, engendering a deep interest in the nature of the specialized knowledge and skills necessary for good teaching. It also led to my involvement in the coordination and administration of grant-funded projects.

After years of collaboration with faculty in the Department of Physics, I had the opportunity in Fall 2007 to join FIU’s Physics Education Research Group as a PhysTEC Teacher-in-Residence. As our group’s role within the university has expanded, my role has grown to encompass the coordination of mathematics and science teacher preparation programs and the implementation of FIU’s commitment to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative. I am also a doctoral candidate pursuing a PhD in Mathematics, Science, and Learning Technologies. My doctoral research focuses on identifying and describing exceptional pedagogical content knowledge in the upper high school mathematics courses.