Caroline Sheffield

Caroline Sheffield

Associate Professor, Social Studies Education
Elementary, Middle & Secondary Teacher Education
Room 247 - College of Education and Human Development
caroline.sheffield @

Dr. Sheffield's curriculum vitae [PDF]


My journey to University of Louisville has taken a lot of twists and turns. I began my academic journey with a bachelors and masters degree in anthropology, focusing on primate behavior, in which I studied orangutans, chimpanzees, and lion-tailed macaques. After working as a recreation and youth programs director at a country club in Florida, I realized that I was meant to work with middle school students. I earned my teacher certification and began teaching middle school social studies in Jacksonville, Florida. After five years in the classroom, I transferred to a middle school in Tampa in order to begin my doctoral program at the University of South Florida. Upon graduating with my doctorate, I moved to Louisville to join the UofL faculty.

My research interests include multimodal literacy in the social studies, teachers’ instructional use of technology in the social studies, and site-based teacher education. My interest in teacher use of technology and multimodal literacy stems from my own experiences as a classroom teacher, specifically in my use of on-line resources, picture books, comics, and Hollywood films.

I am married to a proud Hoosier from Seymour, Indiana (the “Small Town” from John Mellencamp’s song). I believe my hometown is in Northern Virginia, but I’m not quite sure. I am a Navy brat, who was born in Japan, attended six elementary schools, and lived in cities throughout the southern United States before moving to the DC area in middle school. When not teaching and writing, I enjoy reading, watching way too much HGTV, traveling, and hanging out with my nieces and nephews.

Educational Background

  • PhD, Curriculum and Instruction, University of South Florida, 2009
  • MA, Anthropology, Wake Forest University, 2001
  • Teacher Certification, University of North Florida, 2000
  • BA, Anthropology, College of William and Mary

Teaching Areas

  • P-5 Social Studies Methods
  • Middle School Methods - Social Studies I
  • Middle School Methods - Social Studies II
  • Special Methods of Secondary Social Studies Education

Research Interests

  • Social Studies Teacher Education
  • Multimodal Literacy in the Social Studies
  • Informal Social Studies Education
  • Middle Grades Teacher Education
  • Technology Integration in Social Studies Education


  • Mixed Methods Research Design
  • Inquiry-based Teaching

Honors and Awards

  • 2010 College and University Faculty Assembly Conference Outstanding Technology Paper Award
  • 2009 Distinguished Graduate Achievement Award, University of South Florida
  • 2004 University Graduate Fellowship, University of South Florida
  • 2003 Semi-Finalist, Duval County Region I Teacher of the Year
  • 2003 Teacher of the Year, Kirby-Smith Middle School

Professional Memberships and Associations

  • National Council for the Social Studies
  • College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies
  • Program Chair, College and University Faculty Assembly Graduate Forum
  • Alternative Delegate - CUFA, House of Delegates, National Council for the Social Studies
  • Reviewer, College and University Faculty Assembly 2009 Conference
  • Reviewer, American Educational Research Association 2008 Conference
  • American Educational Research Association
  • College and University Faculty Assembly
  • Florida Council for the Social Studies
  • International Society for Technology in Education
  • National Association for Gifted Children
  • National Council for Social Studies
  • National Middle School Association


  • Chisholm, J.S., Shelton, A.L., and Sheffield, C.C. (2017). Mediating emotive empathy with information text: Three students' think-aloud protocols of Gettysburg: The graphic novel. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 61(3), 289-298.
  • Howell, P.B., Sheffield, C.C., Shelton, A., & Vujklia, A. R. (2017). Backchannel discussions during classroom observations: Connecting theory and practice in real time. Middle School Journal, 48(2), 24-30.
  • Sheffield, C.C., Shelton, A. L. (2017). The enslaved tour guides of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. Middle Level Learning. (January/February).
  • Sheffield, C. C. (2015). Struggling to move beyond projection: A case study of two fifth grade social studies teachers’ instructional use of an Interactive White Board. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 15(4). Retrieved from
  • Sheffield, C.C., Chisholm, J. S. & Howell, P.B. (2015). More than superheroes and villains: Graphic novels and multimodal literacy in social studies education. Social Education, 79(3), 147-150.
  • Wilkins, K.H., Sheffield, C.C., Ford, M.B. & Cruz, B.C. (2008). Images of struggle and triumph: Using picture books to teach about the civil rights movement in the secondary classroom. Social Education, 72(4), 177-180.