Eileen Merritt

Asst Professor
Faculty
WEST Campus
Mailcode
3151
Assistant Professor
Faculty
WEST Campus
Mailcode
3151
Senior Sustainability Scholar
Faculty
WEST Campus
Mailcode
3151

Biography

Eileen G. Merritt, PhD, is an assistant professor in elementary sustainability education at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and a researcher with the Sustainability Science Education initiative. She developed her passion for environmental and sustainability education while teaching for 16 years in public school classrooms in Virginia. Merritt has also worked as a director for a natural history day camp and an education coordinator for a natural history museum. She majored in elementary education at the College of William and Mary. Merritt later received two graduate degrees from the University of Virginia: a master's degree in science education and a doctoral degree in educational psychology/applied developmental science. Her research focuses on factors that influence teaching and student development in K-8 classrooms. Merritt is interested in understanding the types of supports teachers need (e.g. professional development, coaching or planning time) to enable them to do their work effectively. She is collaborating with colleagues at the Pathfinder Center in the Biodesign Institute on the sustainability science for teachers course and professional development modules. The team is interested in finding creative and engaging ways to increase content knowledge and motivation to teach about sustainability topics in K-8 classrooms. Merritt is working as a co-principal investigator on an Institute of Education Sciences development grant focused on training teachers to implement environmental service-learning projects with their students. This year, teachers are teaching their students about renewable and nonrenewable energy sources and collaborative skills in fourth-grade classrooms, and implementing service-learning projects focused on energy conservation with their students.

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Guiding Research Question:

  • How can we educate our current and future citizens to solve the complex problems we face in our society today?
  • What types of professional development experiences are needed to support teachers in implementing the Next Generation Science Standards?
  • What does effective and engaging instruction look like in K-8 science classrooms?

Current Research Projects:

Merritt is collaborating with colleagues at the Pathfinder Center in the Biodesign Institute on the Sustainability Science for Teachers course and professional development modules. The team is interested in finding creative and engaging ways to increase content knowledge and motivation to teach about sustainability topics in K-8 classrooms. 

Merritt is also working as a Co-Principal Investigator on an Institute of Education Sciences development grant focused on training teachers to implement environmental service-learning projects with their students. The team is supporting fourth grade teachers as they implement lessons on renewable and nonrenewable energy sources and collaborative skills in fourth grade classrooms. Our research focuses on teacher learning through professional development, and student engagement and learning after participation in the service-learning curriculum.

Publications

Merritt, E.G. (2017). Going outdoors: A natural antidote for attention fatigue? Phi Delta Kappan, 99(2), 21-25.

Merritt, E.G., Rates, C., Greiner, J., Baroody, A., & Rimm-Kaufman, S. (2017). “We need trees to line the river to save our little friends”: Environmental literacy development through service-learning. Children, Youth and Environments, 27(1), 67-90.

Merritt, E.G., Chiu, J. L., Peters-Burton, E. E. & Bell, R. (2017). Teachers’ integration of scientific and engineering practices in primary classrooms. Research in Science Education.

Merritt, E. (2016). Time for teacher learning, planning critical for school reform. Phi Delta Kappan, 98(4), 31-36.

Merritt, E.G., Palacios, N., Banse, H., Rimm-Kaufman, S.E. & Leis, M. (2016). Teaching practices in fifth grade mathematics classrooms with high-achieving English learner students. Journal of Educational Research, 1-15.

Merritt, E.G., Wanless, S.B., Rimm-Kaufman, S.E., Cameron, C., and Peugh, J.L. (2012). The contribution of teachers’ emotional support to children’s social behaviors and self-regulatory skills in first grade. School Psychology Review, 41(2), 141-159.

 

Courses

Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
SCN 301Ecol & Nat Hist Sonoran Desert
SCN 400Sustainabl for Sci Teacher
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
SCN 400Sustainabl for Sci Teacher
DCI 590Reading and Conference
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
SCN 400Sustainabl for Sci Teacher
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
SCN 400Sustainabl for Sci Teacher