Melissa Parks

Melissa Parks

Associate Professor of Education

Melissa Parks is an associate professor of education at Stetson University. Formerly, she was a National Board Certified elementary school teacher practicing in both Florida and Massachusetts. She is passionate about teaching. She believes in the power of a positive classroom built from a foundation of learning activities created to foster and engage students in exploring, and expanding, natural curiosities. In addition to her teaching, she is an area director for the Florida Association of Science Teachers. Dr. Parks has served on the Outstanding Science Trade Books Panel of the National Science Teaching Association and is currently serving on the Preschool-Elementary Science Teaching Panel of the National Science Teaching Association. 

  • PhD, Curriculum and Instruction, Florida Atlantic University
  • MEd, K-8 Math and Science Education, University of Central Florida
  • BA, Elementary Education, Westfield State University

Contact

Course Sampling

  • Natural & Social Sciences in the Elementary School
  • Exploring Environmental Identity
  • Educational Psychology

Areas of Expertise

  • Environmental Elementary Education
  • Elementary Curriculum Development
  • Elementary Pedagogy
  • Preservice Teacher Effectiveness

Biography

Melissa Parks, PhD, is an associate professor of education in the Stetson University Department of Education. She completed her undergraduate work with dual majors in elementary education and liberal studies at Westfield State University in Westfield, Massachusetts. Dr. Parks earned her Master of Education degree from the University of Central Florida where her studies focused on K-8 mathematics and science education. Dr. Parks holds a PhD in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in science education from Florida Atlantic University. Prior to joining the Stetson University faculty, she was a National Board Certified elementary school teacher practicing in both in Florida and Massachusetts. Dr. Parks is an e-learning and design certified instructor and has been recognized by the Quality Matters organization. Dr. Parks is an area director for the Florida Association of Science Teachers. Dr. Parks has served on the Outstanding Science Trade Books Panel of the National Science Teaching Association and is currently serving on the Preschool-Elementary Science Teaching Panel of the National Science Teaching Association.

Research

  • Environmental Elementary Education
  • Elementary Curriculum Development
  • Elementary Pedagogy
  • Preservice Teacher Effectiveness

Publications

  • Parks, M. (2022). Drawing in college: Using sketchnoting to support student engagement. Faculty Focus. Magna Publications. 
  • Parks, M. (2021). Get them talking: Increasing student participation in courses. The National Teaching and Learning Forum, 30(4), 5-7.
  • Oslick, M.E., & Parks, M. (2021). Powerful use of nonfiction texts in primary grades. Florida Literacy Journal, 2(2), 53-68.
  • Parks, M. & Oslick, M.E. (2021). Using children's literature to embed character education in primary classrooms. Dimensions of Early Childhood, 49(2), 29-33. 
  • Parks, M. (2021). Talking trash: Making time for environmental awareness in primary grades. Florida Association of Science Teachers Journal, 11-15.
  • Parks, M. (2021). Outstanding science trade books of 2021. National Science Teaching Association. https://www.nsta.org/ostb-2021
  • Parks, M. (2020). Model eliciting activities. Another tool for the elementary tool box. Science Activities: Projects and Curriculum Ideas in STEM Classroom. DOI: 10.1080/00368121.2020.1782315
  • Parks, M. (2020). The second grade roadster challenge. A model eliciting activity. Science and Children, 57 (7), 22-27.
  • Parks, M., Oslick, M.E., & Tichenor, M. (2020). Cooperating teachers: Willing partner or reluctant participant? Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators Journal (SRATE) Journal, Winter 2020 29(1), 1-10.Parks, M. (2019). Differentiation for preservice teachers. Science and Children, 57(2), 90-94
  • Parks, M. Oslick, M.E., Tichenor, M. (2019). That's what I'm talking about: Redesigning feedback protocols to provide quality feedback to preservice teachers. Practitioner Journal of the National Association for Professional Development Schools, 14 (1), 12-16.
  • Parks, M. (2018). Literature sources for primary environmental science teachers. Science Activities: Projects and Curriculum Ideas in STEM Classrooms, 55(1-2), 46-57.DOI: 10.1080/00368121.2018.1506904 Parks, M. (2018). Seeing the struggle & reaping the rewards: A pathway for beginning teachers to explore the Next Generation Science Standards. Science and Children, 56(2), 88-92.
  • Parks, M. (2018). Seeing the struggle & reaping the rewards: A pathway for beginning teachers to explore the Next Generation Science Standards. Science and Children, 56(2), 88-92.
  • Parks, M. (2018). Rethinking elementary classroom libraries: More than just reading. Florida Association of Science Teachers Journal, 4-8.
  • Parks, M. & Oslick, M. E. (2018). Goldilocks and the engineers: Developing science discourse and understanding with Kindergarten students. Science and Children, 55(6), 66-72.
  • Parks, M. (2017). Increasing science discourse and content understanding in elementary classrooms. Florida Association of Science Teachers Journal
  • Parks, M. (2017). Developing a positive classroom climate to engage undergraduates in class discussions and activities. Faculty Focus Premium. Magna Publications.
  • Parks, M. (2017, winter). Augmenting novice teachers' social studies content knowledge: An opportunity to explore and align available resources. Florida Council for the Social Studies Trends and Issues E-Journal.
  • Parks, M. (2017). Using play as an introduction to environmental stewardship. Science and Children, 54(6), 36-42.
  • Oslick, M. E., Lowery, R. M., Parks, M., Park, S., Worlds, M., Thomas, M., and Colantonio Yurko, K. (2016). Literacy across the content areas with the 2016 Orbis Pictus Award. Florida English Journal, 51(2), 11-20.
  • Parks, M. (2016). Modeling water filtration: Model-eliciting activities create opportunities to incorporate new standards and evaluate teacher performance. In L. Froschauer (Ed.), Bringing STEM to the elementary classroom (pp. 307-315). Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.