Dr. Toolin's research focuses on constructivist models of teaching and learning in science education. She is particularly interested in promoting and researching science classrooms that are grounded in principles of inquiry-based and project-based teaching and learning. Her teaching interests include curriculum, instruction and assessment; diversity issues; and critical theory. She is Principal Investigator (PI) of the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Scholarship Program and the Vermont Secondary Science Partnership Program and Co-PI for the National Science Foundation Satellites, Weather and Climate Program Grant currently underway at UVM. Dr. Toolin serves as a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Science Education and Technology and has published her research pertaining to science teaching and learning in The Science Teacher, Science Education, International Journal of Science Education, and the Journal of Science Education and Technology.
Areas of ExpertiseCurriculum and Instruction; Diversity, Access, and Equity; Learning and Cognition; Multiculturalism; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); Teacher Education
Current ProjectsNational Science Foundation: Satellites, Weather and Climate (SWAC) Teacher Professional Development Program, National Science Foundation: University of Vermont Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation: GEAR-Up for Post-Secondary Success Program
- Toolin, R. (2006). Pride in our place: Project-based learning at the Public Urban Academy for Math, Science and Technology. Conference Proceedings of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching Conference.
- L.A. Dupigny-Giroux, R. Toolin, S. Hogan, M. Fortney (2012). The Satellites, Weather and Climate (SWAC) teacher professional development program: Making the case for climate and geospatial literacy. The Journal of Geoscience Education. 60 (2): 133-146.
- Toolin, R. and Watson, A. (2012). Students for sustainable energy: Inspiring students to tackle energy projects in their school and community. In Metz (Ed.), Fuel for Thought: Building energy awareness in grades 9-12. NSTA Press.
- Toolin, R. & Watson, A. (2010). Conducting sustainable energy projects in secondary science classrooms. Science Activities 47 (2), 47-53.
- Miller, F., Toolin, R., and Biral, R. (2010). Women of color and the formation of a science identity. In Johnson, R. and G, Harris (Eds.), Women of Color in Leadership: Taking their rightful place. San Diego, CA: Birkdale.
- Toolin, R. (2008). Infusing technology into project-based inquiry: A study of the Urban Academy for Math, Science and Technology. In Fraser-Abder, P. and Wallace R.J., eds. Pedagogical Issues in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education. Volume 3. The New York Consortium for Professional Development, Schenectady, New York.
- Toolin, R. and Dupigny-Giroux, L.A. Satellites, Weather and Climate (SWAC) Teacher Professional Development Program: Advocating for Climate and Geospatial Literacy. American Educational Research Association. San Francisco. April 2013.
- Toolin, R. The University of Vermont Robert Noyce Scholarship Program: Recruitment and Program Efficacy. Association for Science Teacher Education Annual Meeting. Charleston. January 2013.
- Toolin, R and White, B. Project-based Inquiry as a Model for Teaching, Learning and Assessing Science in the Grade 7-12 Classrooms. Robert Noyce Scholarship Regional Conference, Indianapolis and Boston, October 2012.
- Toolin, R. and Sithole, D. Using student consultations to develop a middle school-based project for post-secondary success. American Educational Research Association. New Orleans. April 2011.
- Toolin, R. Vermont Secondary Science Partnership (VSSP): Developing effective and authentic partnerships in science education. Association for Science Teacher Education. Minneapolis. January 2011.
- American Educational Research Association (AERA), Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), Vermont Science Teachers Association
Licensure or Certifications
- New York Secondary Science License: Biology, General Science 7-12
- Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Science Education from University of Wisconsin, Madison
Phone: (802) 656-1024
Office: Waterman 409A
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Courses Taught in the Last 5 Years
Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment; Practicum in Teaching