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 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. Professor 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. Professor 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 early career work was focused on mathematics teaching practices. She co-authored two NCTM publications that were awarded Linking Research and Practice outstanding publication awards.

Her current research focuses on exploring pedagogies that motivate and prepare the next generation to solve wicked social and environmental problems in our world today. How can we transform our education system in a way that allows learners to thrive and restore our society and natural world?

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.

Professor 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. As teachers and students learn about the connections between energy and natural resources, they design service-learning projects focused on resource conservation. 

Education

  • Ph.D. Educational Psychology/Applied Developmental Science, University of Virginia 2012
  • M. Ed. Science Education, University of Virginia 1994
  • B.A. Elementary Education, College of William and Mary 1987

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Guiding Research Question:

  • How can we prepare and motivate 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 successful implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards?
  • What does effective and engaging instruction look like in K-8 science classrooms?
  • How can we transform our education system in a way that allows learners to thrive and restore our society and natural world?

Current Research Projects:

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 through participation in the service-learning curriculum.

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 strives to find creative and engaging ways to increase content knowledge and motivation to teach about sustainability topics in K-8 classrooms. 

Publications

Merritt, E.G., Archambault, L. & Hale, A.E. (2018). Sustainability education in elementary classrooms: Reported practices of alumni from a pre-service teacher course. Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Education, 9(1), 18-31.

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.

Banse, H.W., Palacios, N.A., Merritt, E.G. & Rimm-Kaufman, S.E. (2016). 5 strategies for scaffolding math discourse with ELLs. Teaching Children Mathematics, 23(2), 1-10.

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.

I'd be happy to provide a PDF of any of these publications- send me an email. 

Courses

Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
SCN 400Sustainabl for Sci Teacher
DCI 590Reading and Conference
DCI 792Research
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