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Patricia Bricker - Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, NC, US

Patricia Bricker

Professor, Jay M. Robinson Distinguished Professor in Educational Technologies | Western Carolina University


Patricia Bricker's primary areas of expertise are science education and teacher professional development.





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Diversity Dialogues | The Ban on Books




Bricker serves as associate dean for Academic Affairs and director of teacher education in the College of Education and Allied Professions. Her primary areas of disciplinary expertise are science education in elementary and middle grades, integration of science and literacy, and teacher professional development. Bricker has completed the WCU Leadership Academy, the WCU Women’s Leadership in Action program and the UNC System’s BRIDGES: Academic Leadership for Women professional development program. She is a recipient of numerous awards including the North Carolina Science Teachers Association Jo Duckett Wallace Award for Distinguished Service in Elementary Science Education, the WCU Chancellor’s Meritorious Award for Engaged Teaching and the North Carolina Campus Compact Service Learning Award.

Bricker's teaching interests include science and STEM education, the integration of science and literacy, and elementary and middle grades education.

Bricker's research interests include science and STEM education, the integration of science and literacy, teacher professional development, and community engagement projects such as Farm to School.

Industry Expertise (1)


Areas of Expertise (5)

Elementary Education

Teacher Professional Development

STEM Education

Science and Literacy

Community Engagement Projects

Accomplishments (4)

Robert L. Sigmon Service‐Learning Award (professional)

2016 North Carolina Campus Compact

Excellence in Community Service Award (professional)

2014‐2015 Western Carolina University

Center for Service Learning Outstanding Achievement: Excellence in Service Learning Research (professional)

2014 Western Carolina University

College of Education and Allied Professions Soaring High Award (professional)

2010 Western Carolina University

Education (4)

University of Tennessee—Knoxville: Ed.D., Theory and Practice in Teacher Education 2005

University of Rochester: M.S., Teaching and Curriculum 1993

Western Carolina University: Reading Certification 2002

Cornell University: B.S., Natural Resources 1989

Affiliations (2)

  • National Science Teachers Association Committee on Preservice Teacher Preparation
  • WCU Kids' Inquiry Conference : Program Organizer

Languages (1)

  • English

Media Appearances (5)

Commission subcommittee reacts to teacher feedback

EdNC  online


After a breakout session Friday, Patricia Bricker, associate dean for academic affairs at Western Carolina University’s College of Education and Allied Professions, said that the members in her breakout session were in favor of the new infographic. She also suggested simplifying the groups in the infographic.

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Are enough students entering teaching programs to replace those leaving the profession?

WLOS  online


"There is definitely a need for teachers, and really across the board," said Dr. Patricia Bricker, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Teacher Education in the College of Education and Allied Professions at WCU. "We've seen increased need in all kinds of areas, including elementary ed, which is typically not a high needs area," she added.

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NAACP, some parents call for review committee after book pulled from school reading list

WLOS  online


“In the environment that these kids are in, the language isn't shocking to them,” said Dr. Patricia Bricker, a Haywood County parent and professor of teaching at Western Carolina University. “The content, however, is engaging and important, and we need to be able to, as people in the world, engage civilly in conversation.”

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Committed to movement: WCU professors push for diversity in education

Smoky Mountain News  online


“We have a partnership advisory council that includes representatives from many of the school systems in our region, and we were talking about these initiatives. There was incredible interest in hiring people who are diverse to teach, and there is a collective challenge in finding people of color, so I think if we have people who want jobs, they will snatch them up really quickly,” said Patricia Bricker, professor and associate dean for Academic Affairs.

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TPTE Alum Receives Statewide Service-Learning Award

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville  online


Congratulations to the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences alum, Patricia Bricker, Western Carolina University. Bricker is the receipt of the Robert L. Sigmon Service-Learning Award, 2016. The award was presented for her contributions to the practice of service-learning by North Carolina Campus Compact, a coalition of 35 public schools and private colleges and universities in the state.

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Event Appearances (5)

Poetry rocks! (Elementary Extravaganza)

Science Teachers Association National Conference  Nashville, TN


Teacher‐researcher relationship: A reciprocal form of professional development

North Carolina Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators Fall Forum  Raleigh, NC


"Can I write about the garden?” Science as a Context for Writing with Purpose and Passion in Primary Classrooms

Annual Conference of the National Science Teachers Association  Chicago, IL


Farm to School digital stories: Integrating science, literacy, and technology in primary classrooms

National Science Teachers Association Annual Convention  Boston, MA


We are scientists! Starting off the school year in a first grade classroom focused on integrating science and common core state standards in literacy

National Science Teachers Association Regional Conference  Charlotte, NC


Research Grants (3)

WCU Kids’ Inquiry Conference

Western Carolina University School University Teacher Education Partnership Grant $1,165


Teacher‐Researcher Relationship: A Symbiotic Form of Professional Development?

School of Teaching and Learning Grant, Western Carolina University $5,500


Watershed Moments: Exploring Science and Math in Cullowhee Creek

Burroughs Wellcome Fund $159,123


Articles (4)

Poetry Rocks

Science and Children

2015 Over many years, we have inquired into the integration of science and literacy in primary grades. Our students have used science notebooks as places to write and draw their scientific questions, predictions, observations, research notes, claims, reflections, and wonderings.

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Transporting Students into Thin Air: Using Science to Enhance Reading

Science Scope

2010 The "Into Thin Air" unit, based on the book by Jon Krakauer, was designed as an interdisciplinary unit for a small group of academically gifted sixth-grade students. It included hands-on, minds-on activities that would immerse students in the scientific, social, and personal struggles people face while attempting to climb the world's tallest mountain.

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Using Citizen Scientists to Measure the Effects of Ozone Damage on Native Wildflowers

Science Scope

2010 Since 2004, middle and high school students have been monitoring the effects of ground-level ozone by collecting data on observable leaf injury on cutleaf coneflower ("Rudbeckia laciniata") and crownbeard ("Verbesina occidentalis") in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This project is part of an ongoing citizen-science effort in which different groups of students assist researchers in tracking impacts throughout the growing season.

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Building Teacher Leaders and Sustaining Local Communities Through a Collaborative Farm to School Education Project—What EcoJustice Work Can PreService Teachers Do?

EcoJustice, Citizen Science and Youth Activism

2014 William Shelton, the aforementioned host of the farm field trip, is a fourth generation farmer in Whittier, a small community in Jackson County, North Carolina. William describes the challenge of farming and retaining the culture of agriculture.

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