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Caroline C. Sullivan

Clinical Associate Professor    

Doctor of Philosophy, 2007, College of Education, The University of Texas at Austin
Concentration in Curriculum Studies and Social Studies
Master of Arts in Education, 2001, College of Education, The University of Texas at Austin
Concentration: Curriculum and Instruction
Bachelor of Arts, 1993, College of Liberal Arts, Spanish Civilization, The University of Texas at Austin
Bachelor of Science, 1993, College of Communication, Speech Communication, The University of Texas at Austin
Texas Secondary Lifetime Teaching Certificate: Spanish & Speech Communication
College of Education, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 1996


Social studies education
Middle level education
Teacher education


Caroline C. Sullivan’s research and teaching agenda demonstrate an abiding interest in questions related to the socioconstructivist paradigm in contemporary classrooms and the intersections between socioconstructivism and social studies, middle level and teacher education.

Her research features qualitative inquiry methods and publications include topics such as: authentic intellectual engagement in the Social Studies, democratic discourse and, citizenship education, and English as a Second Language in the Social Studies. The Social Studies Inquiry Research Collaborative (SSIRC) is an ongoing research project situated within authentic intellectual engagement, providing thoughtful parameters to socioconstructivist theory and pedagogy by demanding that students engage in classroom activities promoting the construction of knowledge, disciplined inquiry, and value beyond school.

SSIRC, begun in 2008, is a national research collaborative sponsored by the College and University Faculty Assembly. The research team has conducted studies across the United States examining the type of learning social studies students experience and how it may affect performance on high/low thinking order activities and standardized tests; Sullivan represents the state of Georgia in this research inquiry.

Other current projects involve curriculum development for the Atlanta Community Food Bank, investigating social studies education in urban and rural communities, and developing international experiences for students. Sullivan is engaged with the social studies community having recently served as Chair of the Executive Board of the College and University Faculty Assembly affiliated with the National Council for the Social Studies; she served earlier in a program chair capacity.

She has worked with local Atlanta schools on two grants, a Teacher Quality Grant in Atlanta Public Schools and a Teaching American History Grant with DeKalb teachers. Within her department, she serves on the University Senate and as program coordinator for both the doctorate of education in Curriculum and Instruction and the Middle Level Language Arts/Social Studies master of arts in teaching.


DeWitt, S., Patterson, N., Blankenship, W., Blevins, B., DiCamillo, Gerwin, D., L., Gradwell, J., Gunn, J., Maddox, L., Salinas, C. Saye, J., Stoddard, J., Sullivan, C.C. (2013). “The lower-order expectations of high stakes tests: A six-state analysis.” Theory and Research in Social Education, 41:3, 382-427.

Saye, J. W., Blevins, B., Blankenship, W., Chandler, P., Cude, M., DiCamillo, L., Sullivan, C.C., Wilson, E. K. (2013). “Authentic pedagogy in social studies classrooms and its relationship to student performance on state-mandated tests.” Theory and Research in Social Education, 41:1, 89-132.

Salinas, C., Blevins, B. Sullivan, C.C. (2012). “Critical notions of historical thinking: When official narratives collide with Other narratives.” Multicultural Perspectives, 14(1).

Sullivan, C.C. (2011). “Modeling the model: The use of classroom talk in teaching socioconstructivist pedagogy in a university setting.” Journal of Classroom Interaction, 46(2).

Tinker Sachs, G., Junor-Clarke, P., Kinuthia, W., Lim, M., McGrail, E., Sullivan, C.C. (November 2011). “The challenges and opportunities for meeting the needs of English language learners in the midst of education reform.” GATEways to Teacher Education: Journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators.