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Faculty Profile: Richard Frazier

Teaching field Richard Frazier
Elementary Education

Ph. D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research interests
Children’s thinking in science.

Improving teacher quality
I had the opportunity to participate with Dr. Somnath Sarkar in a multi-year Improving Teacher Quality grant funded by the Missouri Department of Higher Education. We offered professional development for middle school science teachers. A highpoint of the project is the annual middle school science symposium held at UCM where students make presentations of their projects.

Teaching around the world
I’ve had a rich experience living and teaching abroad. I’ve visited Sierra Leone for the past few years to conduct professional development workshops for teachers. I’ve also taught middle school science in Saudi Arabia at an international school and in Singapore at an American school. Since coming to UCM, I’ve worked with teachers at a school for physically handicapped children in Cambodia, at a community school in the Navajo Nation, at a secondary school in Mexico City and at an American school in Guatemala.

Continued growth
The work in local classrooms with our teaching interns ranks at the top of the list of significant experiences I’ve had. The collaborative effort with Dr. Sarkar to help middle school teachers has led to my own professional growth and has deepened my appreciation of teaching and learning in science. I greatly appreciate the opportunities to continue pursuing my interests in international education and the support that has been extended by UCM.  

New insight
I’m always uplifted when a pre-service teacher shares a new insight into a child’s thinking and thus demonstrates appreciation and respect for how the child strives to make sense. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most is making professional presentations with my students.