Carnegie Mellon University

Sharon Carver

Sharon Carver

Director, Children’s School, Professor of Psychology (teaching), Associate Dean for Educational Affairs (Dietrich College)

Areas of Expertise

Developmental, Learning Science


As director of the Carnegie Mellon Children's School, my primary research focus is on supporting the work of researchers who either utilize the Children's School as a research site or collaborate with educators in local charter and private schools. I also serve on the university's Institutional Review Board (IRB).

As a learning scientist, I aim to bridge the domains of developmental and educational psychology. My primary interests involve combining cognitive task analysis, instructional design based on cognitive principles, and focused assessment to explore how teaching and learning can be enhanced to promote deep learning and broad transfer. Currently, I am collaborating with Dietrich College faculty and administrators to redesign, launch, and iteratively improve the undergraduate General Education Program.


  • A.B. in Psychology with a K-12 Biology Teacher Certification Program from Princeton University
  • Ph.D. in Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University


Carver, S. M., McConnaha, W., Messina, R., Morley, E., & Wang, Y. (2017).  Laboratory schools: Bridging theory, research and practice to improve education.  In J.C. Horvath, J. Lodge, & J.A.C. Hattie (Eds.), From the Laboratory to the classroom: Translating the learning sciences for teachers.  Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Frye, D., Baroody, A., Burchinal, M., Carver, S. M., Jordan, N. C., & McDowell, J. (2013). Teaching math to young children: A practice guide (NCEE#). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

Carver, S. M., & Shrager, J. (2012). The Psychology of Science, Science Education, and the Impact of David Klahr. In S. Carver & J. Shrager (Eds.), The journey from child to scientist: Integrating cognitive development and the education sciences. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Vlach, H.A. and Carver, S.M. (2008). The Effects of Observation Coaching on Children’s Graphic Representations. Early Childhood Research and Practice.

Carver, S.M. (2008). Experimental approaches for overcoming practical challenges of classroom research. In Applying Cognitive Development and Cognitive Research to K-3 Classroom Learning. Thurman, S.K and Fiorello, C.A. (Eds.).

Carver, S.M. (2006). Assessing for Deep Understanding. In Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences. R. K. Sawyer (Ed). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Carver, S.M. (2001). Cognition and instruction: Enriching the laboratory school experience of children, teachers, parents, and undergraduates. In Cognition and instruction: Twenty-five years of progress. Carver, S.M. and Klahr, D. (Eds.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.