Faculty & Staff
Carol Smith, PhD
Professor of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
Areas of Expertise
Developmental Psychology; Cognitive Development; Conceptual Change in Children and Adults; Developing Scientific Concepts
PhD, Harvard University
Professional Publications & Contributions
- Wiser, M., Smith, C., & Doubler, S. (in press). Learning Progressions as tool for curriculum development: Lessons from the Inquiry Project. In A. Alonzo & A. Gotwals (Eds.), Learning Progressions in Sciences. Sense Publishing.
- Smith, C. (2007) Bootstrapping processes in the development of students' commonsense matter theories: Using analogical mappings, thought experiments, and learning to measure to promote conceptual restructuring. Cognition & Instruction, 25, 337-398.
- Smith, C. & Wenk, L. (2006) The Relation Among Three Aspects of College Freshmen's Epistemology of Science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 43(8), 747-85.
- Smith, C., Wiser, M., Anderson, C.,& Krajcik, J. (2006). Implications of Research on Children's Learning for Standards and Assessment: A Proposed Learning Progression for Matter and Atomic-Molecular Theory. Measurement,14 (1&2), 1-98.
- Smith, C., Solomon, G., & Carey, S. (2005). Never getting to zero: Elementary school students' understanding of the infinite divisibility of matter and number. Cognitive Psychology 51, 101-140
- Snir, J., Smith, C., & Raz, G. (2003) Linking Phenomena with Competing Underlying Models: A Software Tool for Introducing Students to the Particulate Model of Matter. Science Education, 87, 794-830.
- Smith, C., Maclin, D., Houghton, C. & Hennessey, M.G. (2000) Sixth graders' epistemologies of science: The impact of school science experiences on epistemological development. Cognition & Instruction, 18(3), 349-422.
Carol Smith is a cognitive developmental psychologist whose research focuses on understanding how concepts develop and change, both in children and scientists. She is interested in understanding why some science concepts are very hard for students to understand and the kinds of instructional practices that foster conceptual change. Recently, she was a member of the National Academies' Committee on Science Learning, which has just completed writing a book on children's science learning from kindergarten to grade 8 called Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8. She is also involved in longitudinal studies of conceptual development and change in both elementary school and college students.
Intro Psychology (Psych 100), Infancy & Child Development (Psych 341), Cognitive Development (Psych 447)
Critical & Creative Thinking Program (College of Advancing and Professional Studies), Children & Science (CCT 652), Advanced Cognitive Psychology