Eileen Merritt

Eileen Merritt

Associate Faculty, Biodesign Pathfinder Center
Assistant Professor, Div of Teacher Prep/West
Assistant Professor, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Bio

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.