Carla Finkelstein

Department Chair and Associate Professor

Carla Finkelstein

Contact Info

Hawkins Hall, Room 417D


Ph.D. University of Maryland, College Park

M.Ed. Harvard University

B.A. Yale University

Areas of Expertise

Professional development, Instructional coaching, Urban school reform, Inquiry-based instruction


For over 20 years Carla Finkelstein worked as an elementary and secondary teacher, staff developer, and literacy coach, primarily in Baltimore City Public Schools. With teacher colleagues, she founded the Green School of Baltimore, a public charter school that emphasizes experiential, environmental education; responsive classrooms; reading and writing workshop; and continued learning opportunities for teachers. More recently, Carla served as Director of Bard College's MAT program in California, a residency-based teacher preparation program co-located on the campus of a public secondary school in the rural Central Valley. Carla's research focuses on teacher professional development (PD) as a lever for urban systemic reform and on PD models that minimize teacher resistance to change and leverage engagement in learning opportunities. She has a B.A. from Yale College, Ed.M. from Harvard, and Ph.D. from University of Maryland, College Park. Carla joined TU's Department of Instructional Leadership and Professional Development as an assistant professor in 2014. She teaches courses in Leadership, Clinical Supervision, and Professional Development.

Selected Publications

Finkelstein, C. (2019) “Doing our part”: Trust and relational dynamics in literacy coachingLiteracy Research and Instruction, 58(4), 317-337. 

Finkelstein, C., Jaber, L.Z., & Dini, V. (2019). “Do I feel threatened? No… I’m learning!” Affective and relational dynamics in science PD. Science Education, 103(2), 338-361.

Laster, B., & Finkelstein, C. (2017). Professional learning for educators focused on reading comprehension: A historical perspective. Handbook of research on reading comprehension. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Finkelstein, C. (2016). “Thank you so much for the truth!” Building trust in professional development. Phi Delta Kappan, 97(7), 19-24.

Valli, L., & Finkelstein, C. (2013). School reform. In J. A. C. Hattie and E. M. Anderman (Eds.), International Guide to Student Achievement (pp. 263-265). New York: Routledge.

Finkelstein, C., & Weller, D. (2011). From “adding inquiry” to “doing science”: Embracing the tensions in teaching inquiry-based science. Science and Children, 48(7), 49-53.