Carolyn Landel received her doctoral degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Chicago and pursued postdoctoral studies at University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. While maintaining an active research program, Landel brought together her strong scientific training and her commitment to education by supporting state and national science education reform efforts. In 2002, Landel joined the Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education program at Western Washington University (WWU), home to the state’s largest teacher preparation program. Here, she serves as project director of a National Science Foundation–funded Mathematics and Science Partnership that unites scientists from Western Washington University and four community colleges with 28 small and rural school districts to improve science education K-16. Landel directs the day-to-day work of all aspects of the project, including participation in science education research studies in collaboration with Westat, Horizon Research, the Education Development Center (EDC), and Georgia Tech University.
Landel was a fellow in the National Academy for Science and Mathematics Education Leadership and principal investigator of a state-funded initiative to develop and pilot a science education leadership program at WWU for K-12 teachers. This successful pilot was scaled initially through the NSF-funded Mathematics and Science Partnership program, and is currently being sustained through continued funding from the state department of education.
Landel led the early dissemination efforts of Curriculum Topic Study (CTS) in Washington State in both inservice and preservice contexts. Based on her experiences with CTS she joined a panel of national experts assembled to inform the development of print and Web-based publications to help teachers and professional developers utilize CTS to improve content-focused professional development and teacher practice.
Landel’s current collaborations include working with WestEd on the development of a simulation to help science education leaders understand the elements of effective professional development and how to design meaningful, content-rich experiences for science teachers. She is a lead consultant with the Education Development Center and Vulcan Production to produce an innovative print, Web, and video resource to help school-based leadership teams improve student achievement. She is also actively involved with Horizon Research and Project 2061 in the creation of instruments to assess teacher opportunities to learn and measure changes in teacher science content knowledge, teacher pedagogical content knowledge, classroom practice, as well as changes in student achievement.
Landel has authored numerous publications in scientific journals and, more recently, in the education literature. Her most recent publications can be found in NSTA press and Education Leadership. Her current research interests include understanding how partnerships between higher education scientists and teachers can improve teacher, faculty, and student learning and what attributes of professional development lead to improved science content and pedagogical content knowledge required of teachers to increase student learning.