Bio


Janet Carlson is an Associate Professor (Research) and the Faculty Director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) at Stanford University. CSET works in educational partnerships to solve persistent problems of practice by improving the quality of instruction, keeping equity at the center of the work, and developing leading teachers In doing this work, CSET intends to raise the status of the teaching profession, keep high-quality teachers in classrooms, and improve each student’s access to equitable learning opportunities. This work is taking place within the US and in collaboration with other countries who are examining issues of equity and student learning.

Academic Appointments


Research Interests


  • Professional Development
  • Science Education
  • Teachers and Teaching

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Janet Carlson is an Associate Professor (Research) and the Faculty Director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) at Stanford University. CSET works in educational partnerships to solve persistent problems of practice by improving the quality of instruction, keeping equity at the center of the work, and developing leading teachers In doing this work, CSET intends to raise the status of the teaching profession, keep high-quality teachers in classrooms, and improve each student’s access to equitable learning opportunities. This work is taking place within the US and in collaboration with other countries who are examining issues of equity and student learning.

Carlson is responsible for strategic planning with faculty, staff, and leading teachers to identify and continually examine the core principles that will drive the work of CSET. In addition, she is leading the development of a research portfolio that both furthers the mission of the center and supports the translation of research findings in ways that matter to practitioners.

Carlson’s move to Stanford in September 2013 follows a 23-year history at the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), a nonprofit focused on the research and development of curriculum-based support of science teaching and learning. Her research has included studying the impact of educative curriculum materials and transformative professional development on science teaching and learning. With the move to CSET, her research is growing to include the lens of understanding what it means to have practiced-based professional development in the content areas and how to link that to student learning.

Carlson began her career as a middle and high school science teacher and has spent the last 30 years working in science education developing curriculum, leading professional development, and conducting research. She received a BA in Environmental Biology from Carleton College, an MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University, and a PhD in Instruction and Curriculum (science education) from the University of Colorado.

2020-21 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Michael Jarry-Shore, Kathryn Ribay
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Sara Dozier
  • Doctoral Dissertation Co-Advisor (AC)
    Barbara Barbosa Born
  • Master's Program Advisor
    Renato Russo
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Sara Dozier, Daniel Pimentel, Monica Sircar