Meet Ana M. Figueroa
Visiting Assistant Professor, Education
Phone: (813) 257-4046
Address: 401 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33606
2007 University of Central Florida, B.S. in Elementary Education
2014 University of South Florida, Master of Education
2022 University of the Cumberlands, Ed.D.
Foundations of American Education
Classroom Management and Critical Thinking
Teachers are at the heart of the challenges brought upon by educational reform. Ana Figueroa's primary research interest is exploring the association between teachers' mindset characteristics on evaluative performance and the level of applied effort in learning to create professional development opportunities that promote self-efficacy based on teacher-specific needs.
Figueroa's dissertation focused on "How Mindset Influences Learning and Performance Among K-12 Teachers in East Central Florida." She wanted to understand a teacher's mindset to provide proper resources and professional development that may eliminate negativity and retrain the malleable brain to accept challenges and grow from mistakes. Her findings uncovered that while teachers have a fixed mindset on performance, they have a growth mindset in learning. Successful teachers participate in continuous improvement through self-reflection that promotes awareness and improved efforts. Future research will focus on creating professional learning opportunities that promote a growth mindset to prepare preservice teachers and retain tenure teachers.
"How Mindset Influences Learning and Performance Among K-12 Teachers in East Central Florida" was presented virtually at the International Council of Professors of Educational Leadership's (ICPEL) Inspiring Leadership for Innovation in Education Hyflex Conference (2023). Aside from serving as a reviewer for ICPEL, Figueroa presented her research for The University of the Cumberlands Virtual Research Symposium (2022). Her experience has also allowed her the opportunity to write a chapter, "Exceptional Learning," in Dr. Erben's book on Surviving the Pandemic (in progress).
Figueroa's involvement in the community includes hosting after-school origami clubs, tutoring ESE and ESOL students, and serving as the girls' basketball coach for a local middle school.
High Impact Teacher, 2015
Polk County Charter School Teacher of the Year, 2015
Polk County Teacher of the Year, 2012
Nominated for the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) for Outstanding Achievement, 2005