Sara Tolbert

People

Professional Title: 
Associate Professor
About Me (Bio): 
Sara is an experienced professor of education with a demonstrated history of working in primary, secondary, and higher education settings as well as informal learning environments. She has collaborated on several funded research projects designed to prepare teachers for responsive and inclusive instruction, including Effective Science Teaching for English Learners (ESTELL) and Secondary Science Teaching with English Language and Literacy Acquisition (SSTELLA), both funded by the NSF K-12 Discovery Research Program, and Integrating Science and Diversity Education (ISDE) at the UC-Berkeley Center for Research on Education, Diversity, & Excellence (CREDE). In 2015, she received a National Academy of Education (NAEd)/Spencer postdoctoral fellowship award to further explore socially transformative approaches to science education. Before pursuing her graduate degrees, Sara was a public school science/ESL teacher in the Bronx, NY, and Atlanta, GA, and Auckland (Papatoetoe), Aotearoa/New Zealand. From 2000 to 2003, she spent three years in Latin America as a teacher/teacher supervisor and Assistant Manager of ecotourism, sustainability education, and community development projects. Sara has extensive experience as a teacher educator and professional development specialist, focusing on culturally responsive instruction, equity and differentiation, sustainability education, student engagement, groupwork, and formative assessment. A primary focus of her current research is to facilitate learning experiences in which students and teachers engage with science and education as/for leadership development, community engagement, social justice, and sustainability.
Keywords: 
Citations of DRK-12 or Related Work (DRK-12 work is denoted by *): 

*Tolbert, S., Knox, C., & Salinas, I. (2019). Framing, adapting, and applying: Learning to contextualize science activity in multilingual science classrooms. Research in Science Education. DOI: 10.1007/s11165-019-9854-8

 

*Lyon, E. G., Stoddart, T., Bunch, G. C., Tolbert, S., Salinas, I., & Solis, J. (2018). Improving the preparation of novice secondary science teachers for English learners: A proof of concept study. Science Education102(6), 1288-1318.

 

 

*Tolbert, S. (2018). Secondary science education for English learners. Paper commissioned by the Committee on Supporting English Learners in STEM Subjects. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Available online at www.nas.edu/ELinSTEM

*Stoddart, S., Solis, J., Lyon, E., & Tolbert, S. (2017). Preparing pre-service secondary teachers to teach science to English Learners: Translating theory into practice, in A. Oliveira & M. Weinburgh (Eds.), Science teacher preparation in content-based language acquisition (pp. 97-115). Association of Science Teacher Educators (ASTE) Series in Science Education. Switzerland: Springer International Publishers.

*Lyon, E. & Tolbert, S. (2016). Scientific sense-making through scientific and engineering practices. In Lyon, E., Tolbert, S., Solís, J., Stoddart, T., & Bunch, G., (Eds.), Secondary science teaching for English Learners: Developing supportive and responsive learning contexts for sense-making and language development. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

 

*Lyon, E., Tolbert, S., Solís, J., Stoddart, T., & Bunch, G., Eds. (2016). Secondary science teaching for English Learners: Developing supportive and responsive learning contexts for sense-making and language development. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

 

*Tolbert, S., & Knox, C. (2016). ‘They might know a lot of things that I don’t know’: investigating differences in preservice teachers’ ideas about contextualizing science             instruction in multilingual classrooms. International Journal of Science Education38(7), 1133-1149. 

 

*Tolbert, S. & Lyon, E. (2016). Deconstructing the “Explaining the Antibiotic Resistance of MRSA” Unit. In Lyon, E., Tolbert, S., Solís, J., Stoddart, T., & Bunch, G., (Eds.), Secondary science teaching for English Learners: Developing supportive and responsive learning contexts for sense-making and language development. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

 

*Tolbert, S. & Stoddart, T. (2016). The SSTELLA framework: A synergistic and reciprocal relationship between language and science for secondary teaching. In Lyon, E., Tolbert, S., Solís, J., Stoddart, T., & Bunch, G., (Eds.), Secondary science teaching for English Learners: Developing supportive and responsive learning contexts for sense-making and language development. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

 

*Tolbert, S. (2016). Contextualizing science activity. In Lyon, E., Tolbert, S., Solís, J., Stoddart, T., & Bunch, G., (Eds.), Secondary science teaching for English Learners: Developing supportive and responsive learning contexts for sense-making and language development. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

 

*Tolbert, S., Stoddart, T., Lyon, E., & Solís, J. (2014). The Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards, and English language learners: Using the SSTELLA framework to prepare preservice elementary teachers. Issues in Teacher Education (special issue), STEM education: Educating teachers for a new world, 23, 1, 65-90.

 

*Stoddart, T., Solis, J., Tolbert, S., & Bravo, M. (2010). Effective science teaching for English language learners. In Sunal, D. & Sunal, C (Eds.), Teaching Science with Hispanic ELLs in K-16 Classrooms (pp. 151-181). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

 

 

University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz)
08/01/2013

This is a four-year project to develop, implement, and study an experimental model of secondary science pre-service teacher education designed to prepare novice school teachers to provide effective science instruction to English language learners (ELLs). The project incorporates the principles underlying the Next Generation Science Standards with a focus on promoting students' scientific sense-making, comprehension and communication of scientific discourse, and productive use of language.