Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership
Dr. Patrick received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has 12 years experience teaching biology and environmental science in public schools and 12 years experience at the university level working with preservice science educators and teaching qualitative methods. Her research focuses on informal science education, which includes the importance of communicating science to the public and the relationship between communication and science literacy. Her research uses the lenses of social representations theory and sociocultural theory. These theories well support a qualitative methodology; in which, she focuses on informal science learning with an emphasis on social interactions and cultural perspectives. Her interest is identifying the public’s understandings of the natural world through a shared cultural understanding. Dr. Patrick is the editor of the book Preparing Informal Science Educators: Perspectives from Science Communications and Education (Springer, 2017) and author of Zoo Talk (Springer, 2013). Her published research has focused on how families interact in informal learning institutions, social representations children hold of the natural world, how pre-service teachers view the outdoors, and students’ and pre-service teachers’ knowledge of the human body. Her position at Walden includes working on doctoral committees.