Caroline Spurgin

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Caroline Spurgin
Caroline Spurgin
Available By Appointment Only

I specialize in science education, sociocultural learning theories, and critical research methods in education. I am concerned with issues of equity and justice in education and embrace a variety of critical perspectives, particularly feminisms. I am fascinated by the science of learning; especially how preservice science teachers learn to teach with equitable excellence in secondary classrooms. I completed a PhD in Education in 2021--Come talk to me about applying to grad school! When I’m not doing academics, I’m reading lots of fiction, often at the beach, and eating Takis.

  • Ph.D. in Education, University of California Santa Cruz
  • BA in Environmental Analysis, Pitzer College
Academic Interests
  • Preservice science teacher learning
  • Science teacher preparation for equitable excellence
  • Just learning systems
  • Science and justice
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Cultural studies
  • Feminisms

Instructional Equity in Math and Science Secondary Education, Foundations of Education, and Education Research Methods


Since 2021 I have co-managed the research component of the Biliteracy and Content Area Integrated Preparation (BCAIP) project here at Sonoma State (working with project PI Dr. Ed Lyon). I have lectured at UC Merced, UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Cruz. I also do research evaluation work for the Advancing Language Literacy with Relevant Investigations in Science Education (ALL RISE) project at the University of Houston.

From 2015-2021 I worked on a variety of research projects as a graduate research assistant at UCSC. Primarily, I researched math and science teacher preparation focused on equitable instruction for emergent multilingual learners. I also worked on a project dedicated to advancing faculty diversity in the UCs, and another project focused on stem cell biology. My dissertation explored how Discourses of power were enacted, taken up, resisted, and deconstructed in an equity-oriented science teacher preparation program, using Critical Cultural Discourse Analysis and a case study design.

Selected Publications & Presentations