Malcolm B. Butler, Ph.D.

Professor and School Director

School of Teacher Education

Office: ED 209D

Phone: 407-823-3272


Professional Summary

Dr. Malcolm B. Butler is Professor and Coordinator of the PhD Program in Science Education in the College of Community Innovation and Education at the University of Central Florida. Butler also has a secondary appointment with the Learning Sciences Faculty Cluster at UCF.  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 six million dollars in funding to support his research and scholarly initiatives. He has presented his research findings and conducted workshops across the United States, as well as 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.”

During his career, Dr. Butler has served in several appointed and elected leadership positions in his field. He recently served as President of the Association for Science Teacher Education, and currently serves as Chair-Elect of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.


Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, Science Education
University of Florida

M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction, Secondary Science Education
University of Florida

B.S., Physics
Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Science Teacher Education, 2018
  • Chair-Elect, Board of Directors, Council of Scientific Society Presidents, 2019
  • President, Association for Science Teacher Education, 2016

Recent Publications

Wilder, O., Acharya, P., Butler, M.B., & Gill, M. (2019). Preservice elementary science teacher attitudes matter: A new instrument on positive affect toward science. Journal of Science Teacher Education. DOI

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

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 Project

STEM Transfer Students Opportunity for Nurtured Growth (STRONG), National Science Foundation (999,994). Co-Principal Investigator. March 1, 2018-February 28, 2023.

Professional Organizations

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