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Sarah Carrier

Associate Professor, Science Education

ELM Graduate Program Coordinator

317 F Poe Hall


Research Description

I work with undergraduate pre-service teachers and graduate level elementary teachers expanding their vision and practices of science instruction as they develop into effective practitioners communicating science content, inquiry, and practices to children. One area of research has focused on environmental education and science instruction using the outdoors as a setting for learning, including schoolyard science, providing strategies that contribute to elementary students' environmental science knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. I have further been involved in studies that support interdisciplinary connections in the pursuit of developing science literacy. I have served as co-Principal Investigator for NSF funded Accomplished Teachers of Mathematics and Science (ATOMS) grant project. This longitudinal study examines the impact of NC State's STEM-focused teacher preparation program following teachers during their teacher preparation and into their first years as classroom teachers. I have explored their developing identities as teachers of science and their visions of effective science instruction.


Ph.D. in Science Education with Environmental Education focus from the University of Florida in 1999
M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Florida in 1992
B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida in 1988

Curriculum Vitae


Selected Scholarly Publications

  • Adams, E. L., Carrier, S. J., Minogue, J., Porter, S. R, McEachin, A., Walkowiak, T. A., & Zulli, R.A. (2017). The development and validation of the Instructional Practices Log in Science (IPL-S). International Journal of Science Education. (in press)
  • Thomson, M.M., & DiFrancesca, D., Carrier, S., Lee, C. &, Walkowiak, T. (2016). Changes in teaching efficacy beliefs among elementary preservice teachers from a STEM-focused program: Case study analysis. Teacher Development.
  • Carrier, S.J., Faulkner, V.N., & Bottomley, L. (2016). Walking the walk: An integrated STEM project for elementary teachers. Journal of Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership, 1(1), 25-29.
  • Tugurian, L.P., & Carrier, S.J. (2016). Children’s environmental identity and the elementary science classroom. Journal of Environmental Education.
  • Sondel, B., Koch, J., Walkowiak, T., & Carrier, S. (2016). Toward a theory of teacher education for justice-oriented STEM. Catalyst. (in press)
  • Stevenson, K.T., Carrier, S.J., Peterson, M.N. (2014). Evaluating strategies for inclusion of environmental literacy in the elementary school classroom. Electronic Journal of Science Education. 18(8), 1-17.
  • Stevenson, K. T., Peterson, M. N., Bondell, H. D., Moore, S. E., & Carrier, S. J. (2014). Overcoming skepticism with education: Interacting influences of worldview and climate change knowledge on perceived climate change risk among adolescents. Climatic Change. doi:10.1007/s10584-014-1228-7
  • Stevenson, K.T., Peterson, M.N., Carrier, S., Strnad, R., Bondell, H.D., Kirby-Hathaway, T., & Moore, S.E. (2014). Role of significant life experiences in building environmental knowledge and behavior among middle school students. Journal of Environmental Education, 43(3), 163-177.
  • Carrier, S.J., Thomson, M.M., & Tugurian, L.P. (2014). Elementary science education in classrooms and outdoors: Stakeholder views, gender, ethnicity, and testing. International Journal of Science Education, 36(13), 2195-2220.
  • Albert, J. L., Blanchard, M. R., Kier, M. W., Carrier, S. J., & Gardner, G. E. (2014). Supporting teachers’ technology integration: A descriptive analysis of social and teaching presence in technical support sessions. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 22(2), 137-165.
  • McIntyre, E., Walkowiak, T., Thomson, M., Carrier, S., Lee, C., Grieve, E., Lowe, R., Maher, M., Difrancesca, D. (2013). A STEM-focused elementary teacher preparation program: Student and alumni perceptions. Teacher Education and Practice, 26(4), 670-687.
  • Carrier, S.J. & Rex, E. (2013). Learning the ropes about electricity. Science and Children, 50(7), 36-39.
  • Carrier, S.J., Tugurian, L.P. & Thomson, M.M. (2013). Elementary science indoors and out: Teachers, time, and testing. Research in Science Education, 43(5), 2059-2083.
  • Carrier, S. (2013). Elementary preservice teachers’ science vocabulary: Knowledge and application. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 24(2), 405-425.
  • Carrier, S. (2012). Climate change education in elementary school. Journal for Activist Science & Technology Education, 4(1), 40-44.
  • Carrier, S., Scott, C., & Hall, D. (2012). Soundsational science. Science Activities, 49(1), 1-6.
  • Carrier, S., Wiebe, E. N., Gray, P., & Teachout, D. (2011). BioMusic in the classroom: Interdisciplinary elementary science and music curriculum development. School Science and Mathematics, 111(8), 425-434.
  • Carrier, S. (2011). Effective strategies for teaching science vocabulary. LEARN North Carolina: UNC-Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Carrier, S. (2011). Implementing and integrating effective teaching strategies including features of lesson study in an elementary science methods course. The Teacher Educator, 46(2), 145-160. *Identified by Routledge Education for Class of 2012 - a collection of the most downloaded articles from all Routledge Education journals.
  • Carrier, S. & Thomas, A. (2010). Potato problem solving. Science & Children, 47(7), 33-37.
  • Carrier, S. (Fall, 2009). Survey of elementary teachers’ views on science teaching and its implications for self-efficacy and teacher attrition, Florida Association of Science Teachers (FAST) journal, 26(1), 22-23.
  • Carrier, S. (2009). The effects of outdoor science lessons with elementary school students on preservice teachers’ self-efficacy. Journal of Elementary Science Education, 21(2), 35-48.
  • Carrier, S. (2009). Environmental education in the schoolyard: Learning styles and gender. Journal of Environmental Education, 40(3), 2-12.
  • Carrier, S. & Thomas, A. (2008). Button basics. Science and Children, 45(5), 21-23.
  • Carrier, S. (2007). Gender differences in attitudes towards environmental science. School Science and Mathematics, 107(7), 271-278.
  • Carrier, S. J. (2006). The road to stress-free science fairs: A long-term approach to learning inquiry takes the stress out of science fairs. Science and Children, 44(1), 36-39.
  • Pringle, R.M & Carrier Martin, S. (2005). The potential of upcoming high-stakes testing on the teaching of science in elementary classrooms. Research in Science Education, 35: 347-361.
  • Martin, S.C. & Pringle, R.M. (Spring, 2005). Testing in science: Teachers’ views and the influence on their practices in elementary classrooms. Florida Educational Leadership, 5(2), 59-64.
  • Martin, S.C. (Fall, 2003). The influence of outdoor schoolyard experiences on students’ environmental knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and comfort levels. Journal of Elementary Science Education, 15(2), p. 51-56.
  • Pringle, R.M., Martin, S.C., & Jones, G. (Fall, 2001) College of Education and P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School: Collaborators in science education. National Association of Laboratory Schools Journal. p. 1-3.
  • Kowolenko, C., Carrier, S., Wiebe, E., Gray, P. & Teachout, D. (June,2010). Biomusic module-Grades 2/3. Greensboro, NC: UNC-Greensboro.
  • Hall, D., Patillo, C., Kowolenko, C., Carrier, S., Wiebe, E., Gray, P.& Teachout, D. (July, 2010). Biomusic module-Grades 4/5. Greensboro, NC: UNC-Greensboro.
  • Wiebe, E., Carrier, S., Kowolenko, C., Gray, P., & Teachout, D. (July, 2010). Biomusic concepts resource guide. Greensboro, NC: UNC-Greensboro
  • Carrier, S.J., & Stevenson, K.T. (2017). Children experiencing the outdoors: A natural setting for learning. In Eija Kimonen and Raimo Nevalainen (Eds.) Reframing school education: A comparative view. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
  • Carrier, S.J., & Thomas, A. (2012). Potato problem solving: A 5E model addresses misconceptions about thermal insulation. In Eric Brunsell (Ed.) Integrating Engineering and Science in Your Classroom. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.
  • Eick, C., Carrier, S., Keasel, D., & Perez, K. (2010). Summer methods in summer camps: Teaching Projects WILD, WET, and Learning Tree at an outdoor environmental education center. In A.M. Bodzin, B.S. Klein, & S. Weaver (Eds.), The Inclusion of Environmental Education in Science Teacher Education (pp. 173-189). New York: Springer.

Courses Taught

  • ECI 709 Informal Elementary Science and Mathematics Education
  • EMS 794 Informal Science
  • ELM 654 Inquiry Project
  • ELM 520 Methods of Teaching Elementary School Science
  • ELM 320 Teaching Science in the Primary Grades
  • ECI 296 Practicum in Teaching
  • ELM 250 Intro to Elementary Education in a Global Society

Honors and Awards

  • Journal of Science Teacher Education
  • Electronic Journal of Science Education
  • Thank a Teacher

Editorial Boards

  • Journal of Science Teacher Education
  • Electronic Journal of Science Education

Research Areas