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Malcolm Butler, Ph.D.


Science Education

Office: ED 122U

Phone: 407-823-3272


Professional Summary

Dr. Butler is a Professor and Coordinator of the Masters Programs in Secondary Science Education (MAT and MEd). He was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and spent his childhood in south Louisiana with his eight siblings and loving mother, Adlean F. Butler, and father, the late Lee Butler, Jr. After earning a BS in Physics from Southern University in Baton Rouge, he began pursuit of a Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Florida. While in Gainesville, Butler became fascinated with the idea of “growing” more scientists, subsequently changing his degree plans, and ultimately earning a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Science Education. Butler has taught and learned mathematics and science from elementary, middle and high school students. In addition, he has been affiliated with several institutions of higher education, including the College of William and Mary, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, the University of Georgia, and the University of South Florida. Dr. Butler has secured over five million dollars in funding to support his research and professional development initiatives. He has presented his research findings and conducted workshops across the United States, as well as in Canada, Japan, The Philippines, Singapore, Cyprus, South Africa, and Botswana. He has co-authored and co-edited three books and numerous book chapters and journal articles. Dr. Butler is also one of the authors of the K-5 science curriculum, National Geographic Science, “a research-based program that brings science learning to life through the lens of National Geographic.”


Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction
Specialization: Secondary Science Education
University of Florida

Areas of Expertise

  • Science Education
  • Science and underserved students
  • Science Teacher Education

Research Interests

  • Writing to learn in science
  • Physics teacher education
  • Equity and diversity in science

Recent Honors and Awards

  • President, Association for Science Teacher Education, 2016

Recent Publications

Butler, M. B. (Winter 2017). NGS4 matrix for Florida science educators. Florida Science Teacher (the official journal of the Florida Association of Science Teachers), 3-6.

*Reece A. J., Butler M. B. (2017). How do virtual laboratories impact STEM students’ content knowledge, course performance, and motivation to learn in an introductory biology course? Journal of College Science Teaching, 46(3), 83-89.

Parsons, E. C., *Bulls, D. L., Freeman, T. B., Butler, M. B., & Atwater, M. M. (2016). General experiences + race + racism= Work lives of Black faculty in postsecondary science education. Cultural Studies of Science Education. doi:10.1007/s11422-016-9774-0.

Settlage, J., Butler, M., Wenner, J., Smetana, L., & McCoach, B. (2015). Examining elementary school science achievement using organizational and leadership perspectives: A fresh tactic for attacking achievement gap disparities. School Science and Mathematics, 115(8), 381-391.

Atwater, M. M., Russell, M., & Butler, M. B., Eds. (2014). Multicultural science education: Preparing teachers for equity and social justice. The Netherlands: Springer.

Current Funded Projects

Improving Augmented Reality Technologies for Training and Education.
Principal Investigators: Joseph LaViola, Greg Welch, & Malcolm Butler ($83,333).
Sponsoring Agency: Florida High Tech Corridor Council.
Improving Augmented Reality Technologies for Training and Education.
Principal Investigators: Joseph LaViola, Greg Welch, & Malcolm Butler ($250,000).
Sponsoring Agency: Lockheed Martin Cooperation.
Collaborative Research Project: School Organization and Science Achievement.
($2.9 million). National Science Foundation. July 2011-June 2016. Partner Principal Investigator.

Faculty Related Links

Malcolm B. Butler Author Page

Professional Organizations

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Association for Science Teacher Education
  • Florida Association of Science Teachers
  • National Science Teachers Association
  • NARST (formerly known as the National Association for Research in Science Teaching)