Since its establishment in 2002, the UF Lastinger Center for Learning has been committed to listening to children, families, and educators to develop ongoing understanding of the communities served by the products and services we design. A series of state-wide Listening Tours punctuate the Center’s history, providing insights into improving learning outcomes for children, enhancing educator knowledge and skills and supporting educators as they serve our children. We are excited to launch our Fall 2023 Listening Tour! If you’re interested in participating in the Lastinger Listening Tour, please visit our Participant page.
What is a Listening Tour?
A Listening Tour is a series of events scheduled throughout the state of Florida to connect with and listen to students, families, educators, community leaders, district-level leaders, education foundations, educational associations, parent teacher organizations, and community-based non-profit organizations, just to name a few! Associates from the Lastinger Center schedule meetings, convenings, interviews, and round-table discussions to connect with stakeholders and gather their perspectives on a variety of topics, including educational experiences, systems, content, teaching practice and professional learning.
At the Lastinger Center we make every effort to understand and connect with the communities we serve. Listening Tours are the perfect forum for gathering perspectives and understanding their experiences, perspectives, celebrations, and challenges in education throughout the state. By connecting with and understanding education stakeholders, we are better able to advocate for impactful changes in education in Florida and develop courses and programs that meet real education needs. All activities are designed to inform the work of the Lastinger Center. Additionally, the Center shares the results of the Listening Tour as a public service to inform program and policy recommendations across the state.
Listening Tours are made up of a series of events and in 2023, events will be scheduled in 10 different areas across the state of Florida. They include a variety of different ways to hear from stakeholders including one-on-one interviews, group interviews, surveys, and round table discussions
Once the data and information gathering phase is complete, Listening Tour perspectives are analyzed, incorporated into Lastinger Center strategic planning and shared with educational leaders, policy-makers and elected officials to advocate for positive changes to our education system.
Knowing that we are part of the ecosystem that supports positive child learning outcomes requires that we incorporate and understand as many perspectives as we can. Listening Tours are designed to support connections with and gather perspectives from a wide variety of stakeholders including:
- students & families
- educators & district-level leaders
- education foundations & educational associations
- parent teacher organizations
- community leaders
- community-based non-profit organizations
Schedule & Locations
- North Central Florida | Sept. 12, 2023
- Southwest Florida | Week of Sept. 18, 2023
- Western Panhandle | Week of Oct. 2, 2023
- Central | Week of Oct. 9, 2023
- Tampa | Week of Oct. 16, 2023
- Treasure Coast | Week of Oct. 23, 2023
- Southeast Florida | Week of Oct. 30, 2023
- Northeast Florida | Week of Nov. 6, 2023
- Central Panhandle | Week of Nov. 13, 2023
- Gateway | Week of Nov. 27, 2023
- School visits
- Early learning program visits
- Community engagement events
- Meetings with community leaders
- Connection with policymakers & elected officials
- Receptions & donor stewardship
- Participating in partner events