As an elementary school teacher, I earned both my Master’s degree in science education and my Ph.D. in science education with a research emphasis in environmental education from the University of Florida. After two years as an Assistant Professor at Auburn University, I was privileged to come to North Carolina State University in 2007 to help launch our STEM-focused Department of Elementary Education (ELM), beginning with the undergraduate program and then building both the Master and the Elementary Education in Mathematics and Science (EEMS) doctoral programs. I enjoy my work with both undergraduate and graduate science education students, and my role as the ELM Graduate Program Coordinator of Elementary Education in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences. I recognize science as an important vehicle for global knowledge and unity, and I value my collaborations in regional, national, and international science education communities.
My main research focus of environmental education includes learning about climate change and science instruction in the outdoors as a setting for teaching and learning, including schoolyard science. This work continues to examine strategies that contribute to elementary students’ environmental science knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and comfort in nature. I am a co-Principal Investigator for NSF-funded Supporting Elementary Teacher Learning for Effective School-Based Citizen Science (TL4CS). This exciting project is a rich collaboration of Horizon Research, Inc., NC State, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science and many wonderful teachers from across North Carolina.
Additional research interests include collaborations that support interdisciplinary connections of literacy and science that support teacher and children’s science communication. Another interesting research area examines the role of awe and wonder of science and science learning. My work with undergraduate pre-service teachers and graduate level in-service teachers explores their developing identities as science teachers as they learn effective strategies for sharing science content and practices with children.
I served as a co-Principal Investigator for NSF-funded Accomplished Teachers of Mathematics and Science (ATOMS) grant project. This longitudinal study examined elementary teachers’ development and practices as science teachers. Through this research, I explored teachers developing identities as teachers of science and examined their visions of effective science instruction. My work bridges formal and informal science education, building strong bases for life-long science learning.
- Undergraduate: Elementary Education
- Graduate: Elementary Education
- Program Area of Study: Elementary Education in Mathematics and Science
- Science Education
Selected Scholarly Publications
- Grifenhagen, J.F., Carrier, S.J., Scharen, D. & Fiocca, S. (2021). Strategies for building elementary students’ science content vocabulary. The Reading Teacher, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/trtr.2033
- Refvem, E., Jones, M.G., Rende, K., Carrier, S., Ennes, M. (2021). The next generation of science educators: Museum volunteers. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 1-18.
- Stevenson, K.T., Szczytko, R., Carrier, S.J., & Peterson, M.N. (2021). How outdoor science education can help girls stay engaged with science. International Journal of Science Education, 1-22.
- Carrier, S.J., Grifenhagen, J.F., & Scharen, D. (2021). The language of science: Touch, talk, text. Science and Children, (in press).
- Jones, M.G., Lee, T., Carrier, S., Madden, L., Cayton, E., Chesnutt, K., Ennes, M., Huff, P., & Phillips, L. (2020) White lab coats and elementary students’ science self-concept and science self-efficacy. Science Educator, 28(1), 1-9.
- Carrier, S.J., Jones, M.G., Ennes, M., Madden, L., Lee, T., Cayton, E., Chesnutt, K., Huff, P., Phillips, L., & Bellino, M. (2020). Stereotypes of scientists: Seeds of progress and recommendations for elementary teachers. Science Educator, 27(2), 1-7.
- Carrier, S.J. & Grifenhagen, J.F. (2020). Academic vocabulary support for elementary science pre-service teachers. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 31(2), 115-133. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1046560X.2019.1666631
- Jones, M. G., Lee, T., Chesnutt, K., Carrier, S., Ennes, M., Cayton, E., Madden, L., & Huff, P. (2019). Enclothed cognition: Putting lab coats to the test. International Journal of Science Education, 41(14), 1962-1976. DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2019.1649504
- Lawson, D., Stevenson, K.T., Peterson, M.N. Carrier, S.J., Strnad, R. Seekamp, E. (2019). Children can foster climate change concern among their parents. Nature Climate Change, 9(6), 458-462. DOI: 10.1038/s41558-019-463-3. Stevenson, K.T., Peterson, M.N., Carrier, S., Strnad, R.L., Olson, R. E., Szczytko, R. E. (2019). Making the case for a null effects framework in environmental education and K-12 academic outcomes: When ‘just as good’ is a great thing. Frontiers. DOI: 10.3389/fcomm.2018.00059.
- Lawson, D., Stevenson, K.T., Peterson, N., Carrier, S.J. (2018). Evaluating climate change behaviors and concern in the family context. Environmental Education Research, 25(5), 678-690. DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2018.1564248.
- Thomson, M.M., & DiFrancesca, D., Carrier, S., Lee, C. &, Walkowiak, T. (2018). Changes in teaching efficacy beliefs among elementary preservice teachers from a STEM-focused program: Case study analysis. Journal of Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership, 2(1), 29-43.
- Lawson, D., Stevenson, K.T., Peterson, M.N. Carrier, S.J., Strnad, R. Seekamp, E. (2018). Intergenerational Learning: Are children key in spurring climate action? Global Environmental Change, 53, 204-208.
- Carrier, S.J. Whitehead, A.N., Minogue, J., & Kimble, R.S. (2018). Novice elementary teachers’ developing visions of effective science teaching. Research in Science Education, 1-25.
- Szczytko, R., Carrier, S., & Stevenson, K.T. (2018). Impacts of outdoor environmental education on attention, behavior, and learning outcomes for students with emotional, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities. Frontiers. DOI: 10.3389/feduc.2018.00046. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feduc.2018.00046/full
- Carrier, S.J., Hoyle, K.S., & Luginbuhl, S.C. (2017). Bringing informal science education to elementary preservice teacher preparation: Expanding the vision. Journal of Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership, 1(3), 32-37.
- Carrier, S.J., Whitehead, A.N., Walkowiak, T.A., Luginbuhl, S.C., & Thomson, M.M. (2017). The development of elementary teacher identities as teachers of science. International Journal of Science Education, 39(13), 1733-1754. DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2017.1351648.
- Sondel, B., Koch, J., Walkowiak, T., & Carrier, S. (2017). Toward a theory of teacher education for justice-oriented STEM. Catalysts, 7(1), 38-52. 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, 39(3), 335-357.
- Thomson, M.M., & DiFrancesca, D., Carrier, S., Lee, C. &, Walkowiak, T. (2016). Teaching efficacy: Exploring relationships between mathematics and science self-efficacy beliefs, PCK, and domain knowledge among pre-service teachers in the United States, Teacher Development, 21(1), 1-20. DOI: 10.1080/13664530.2016.1204355.
- 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, 48(3), 143-153. DOI: 10.1080/00958964.2016.1191415.
- 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., Stevenson, K.T. (2014). Elementary science education in classrooms and outdoors: Stakeholder views, gender, ethnicity, and testing. International Journal of Science Education, 36(13), 2195-2220.
- Carrier, S. J. & Jones, M.G. (in press 2021). Getting down and dirty. In S. (S. K.) Jeong, L. A. Bryan, D. J. Tippins, and C. M. Sexton (Eds.) Science classroom cases of elementary science teaching and learning – Navigating the challenges and contemplating actions in the 21st century (pp. xx-xx). Springer.
- Szczytko, R., Carrier, S., & Stevenson, K.T. (2019). Positive impacts of outdoor environmental education on attention, behavior, and learning outcomes for students with emotional, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities. In Ming Kuo & Cathy Jordan (Eds.), The natural world as a resource for learning and development: From schoolyards to wilderness. Frontiers Media.
- 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.
- ECI 709 Informal Elementary Science and Mathematics Education
- ECI 709 Teacher Education Seminar
- EMS 594/794 Informal Science
- ELM 654 Inquiry Project
- ELM 520 Methods of Teaching Elementary School Science
- ELM 524 Issues in Elementary Science Education
- ELM 539 Special Problems in Elementary Science Education
- ELM 320 Teaching Science in the Primary Grades
- ECI 296 Practicum in Teaching
- ELM 250 Intro to Elementary Education in a Global Society
- International Journal of Science Education – Editor
- Journal of Science Teacher Education, Editorial Review Board
Services and Engagements
- National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST)
- NARST External Policy and Relations committee member 2018-2021
- NARST External Policy and Relations committee member 2012-2014
- NARST Co-coordinator for Policy Strand 15 2008-2012
- Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE)
- ASTE Position Statement Review Panel – Environmental and Sustainability 2021-2022
- Ethnoscience and Environmental Education Strand Coordinator 2021-2022
- Equity Committee member and liaison to Conference committee 2018-2020
- Equity Committee member and liaison to Awards committee 2014-2016; NSF Review Boards; NC State Faculty Senate 2019-2022
- Personnel Policy Committee 2019-2022; University Standing Committee Council on the Status of Women. 2020-2022
- NC State Faculty Well Being Committee 2019-2022
- NC State Mediation Committee 2018-2020
- NC State Faculty Grievance (607) and Non-Reappointment Review (604) Committee 2016-2021
- NC State Sustainability Committee 2016-2018
Ph.D. Science Education with Environmental Education focus the University of Florida 1999
M.Ed. Science Education the University of Florida 1992
B.S. Elementary Education the University of Central Florida 1988
Area(s) of Expertise
Science education, Elementary School Science Education, Outdoor Education, Environmental Education, Climate Change Education, Elementary Education Teacher Preparation, Teacher Identities,
- Elementary Education
- Environmental and Sustainability Education
- Outdoor Science Education
- Science Education
- STEM Education
- Teacher Education
Honors and Awards
- Reviewer of Excellence 2020, International Journal of Science Education
- Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Professorship Award 2020, NC State University
- Bridging the Gap Nominated for: Distinguished Teaching Award in STEM Education 2019, NC State University