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About Colleen Swain

Dr. Swain's research focuses on the acquisition of instructional expertise by preservice and inservice teachers. She examines how this expertise influences individual educators, as well as the schools in which they enact their practice. Recently, she has been investigating how coaching, as a form of professional development, changes the beliefs and practices of preservice and inservice teachers and how these changes influence teaching practices and advance the learning of all students.
Dr. Swain’s research encompasses three subthemes. The first subtheme explores the notion of preservice teachers developing into proficient teachers who are prepared to meet the needs of all the students they teach.
The second subtheme centers on the effectiveness of professional development strategies, such as coaching, for inservice teachers as they deepen their understanding of instructional methods, content, and the context of their students’ lives.  The third subtheme is the exploration of how the use of coaching and other forms of job-embedded professional development for principals transforms the teaching and learning environment of schools.


Present Professor and Director of the School of Education, University of Texas at Tyler
2003 - 2012 Associate Professor, University of Florida
2005 - 2008 Associate Professor and Associate Director of the School of Teaching & Learning, University of Florida ‐ School of Teaching & Learning


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Honors and Awards

  • Goetting Award for Outstanding Secondary Education Student Teacher, Baylor University - 1987
  • Sallie Mae Award, Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District - 1988
  • Outstanding Computer Education & Cognitive Systems Student, University of North Texas - 1993
  • Outstanding Product for Adult Learners, The American Distance Education Consortium - 2005
  • Shewey Middle School Scholar, University of Florida, College of Education, & Shewey Foundation - 2011
  • College of Education Undergraduate Teacher of the Year, University of Florida - 2012
  • Outstanding Alumni Award, University of North Texas - 2012
  • UT Fellow Faculty, University of Texas at Tyler - 2013
  • Top 25 Education Professors, - 2013


  • EDUC 5640.030: Clinical Teaching in EC-12
  • EDUC 5306: Selected Topics in Education
  • EDUC 4057.001: Student Teaching Seminar


1997 Ph.D., University of North Texas ‐ Learning Technologies
1993 M.S., University of North Texas ‐ Computer Education & Cognitive Systems
1987 B.S., Baylor University ‐ Secondary Education

Research Works (8)

Presentations (7)

Grants (3)