Sara Tolbert

Associate ProfessorSara Tolbert

Rehua 401
Internal Phone: 90703
Reimagining science and education for a just, caring, & sustainable world

Research Interests

Sara Tolbert (Tangata Tiriti) is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at University of Canterbury in Aotearoa New Zealand, previously Associate Professor in Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona (USA). Sara is a former science and ESOL teacher and environmental educator, and has worked with students in multilingual contexts in the USA, Aotearoa New Zealand, Mexico, and Guatemala. She earned her Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies from University of Colorado-Boulder (USA), her Masters degree/Teaching Credential with ESOL endorsement from the University of Georgia (USA), and PhD in Social Contexts of Education and Science Education from the University of California-Santa Cruz (USA). Her scholarship draws from feminist studies, anti-colonial/critical theory, environmental humanities, science-and-technology-studies, and critical pedagogy to explore possibilities for justice through science and education in the Anthropocene(s). Some of her current projects include Postdigital Pedagogies of Care, Pāngarau Unleashed: a Multiple Case Study of De-streaming Secondary Mathematics, Freire: A Praxis of Radical Love and Critical Hope for Science Education, and Reimagining Science Education in the Anthropocene. She co-leads the Ōtautahi Food Justice Research Collaborative, a UC CURe initiative, and the UC Learning for Earth Futures research cluster.

Recent Publications

  • Frausto Aceves A., Torres-Olave B. and Tolbert S. (2022) On love, becomings, and true generosity for science education: honoring Paulo Freire. Cultural Studies of Science Education 17(2): 217-230. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11422-021-10098-w.
  • Saha S., Tapuke S., Kennedy B., Tapuke K., Hersey S., Wright F., Tolbert S., Macfarlane A., Leonard G. and Tupe R. (2022) Use of “Our Supervolcano” virtual field trip to support bicultural classrooms in Aotearoa New Zealand. Science Activities 59(2): 84-96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00368121.2022.2056115.
  • Saha S., Tapuke S., Kennedy B., Tolbert S., Tapuke K., Macfarlane A., Hersey S., Leonard G., Tupe R. and Ngaropo P. (2022) A place-based virtual field trip resource that reflects understandings from multiple knowledge systems for volcano hazard education in Aotearoa NZ: Lessons from collaborations between Māori and non-Māori. Journal of Geoscience Education http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10899995.2022.2109397.
  • Tolbert S., Gray S., Rivera M. and Schindel A. (2021) Teaching science to transgress: Portraits of feminist praxis. Journal of Research in Science Teaching http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.21723.
  • Williams J. and Tolbert S. (2021) “They have a lot more freedom than they know”: science education as a space for radical openness. Cultural Studies of Science Education 16(1): 71-84. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11422-020-10016-6.