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.