Leah A. Bricker

Assistant Professor

Leah A. Bricker, School of Education

Leah Bricker's research explores youths’ STEM-related learning pathways. She researches questions such as, "How do everyday moments—experienced across settings, pursuits, social groups, and time—result in science-related learning, expertise development, and identification?” Bricker uses lenses from multiple fields (e.g., anthropology, science education, learning sciences, science studies) to research phenomena of interest including linguistic and interactional elements of youths’ STEM-related learning and practice, as well as social disparities related to youths’ interest and opportunities associated with STEM learning and practice. Other focal interests are related to science communication, "informal" STEM learning, and learning within health-related contexts (e.g., infectious disease and other public health arenas, genomics). Bricker applies anthropological lenses to the study of youth, family, community, and professional STEM-related learning across contexts and timescales. In addition, she uses ethnographic and other qualitative methods, and design-based research to study and design STEM learning environments. Bricker is also interested in methods associated with youth participatory action research and citizen-science endeavors.

Bricker was an award-winning secondary science teacher before serving as the state science coordinator at the Indiana Department of Education, where she was involved in all aspects of K-12 science education (e.g., standards, assessments, professional development, partnerships among science education stakeholders in the state). Bricker then served as a senior program associate at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Project 2061, where she helped design and implement professional development programs, and helped manage a National Science Foundation grant focused on STEM assessments. Bricker earned her PhD in the Learning Sciences at the University of Washington.

Bricker teaches courses in the following program(s):
Science Education
Secondary Teacher Education (Secondary MAC)
Secondary Teacher Education
Post-Secondary Science Education
New Media and New Literacies
Teaching and Learning


Selected Publications

Bricker, L.A., Bell, P., Van Horne, K., & Clark, T.L. (2017). Helping learners obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about science and engineering. In C. Schwarz, C. Passmore, & B. Reiser (Eds.), Helping students make sense of the world using Next Generation science and engineering practices (pp. 259-282). Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.

Bricker, L.A., & Bell, P. (2016). Exploring images of epistemic cognition across contexts and over time. In J.A. Greene, W.A. Sandoval, and I. Bråten (Eds.), Handbook of epistemic cognition (pp. 197-214). New York, NY: Routledge.

Bricker, L.A., & Bell, P. (2014). "What comes to mind when you think of science? The Perfumery!": Documenting cultural learning pathways across contexts and timescales. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 51(3), 260-285.

Bricker, L.A., Reeve, S., & Bell, P. (2014). "She has to drink blood of the snake": Culture and prior knowledge in science/health education. International Journal of Science Education, 36(9),1457-1475.

Lee, T.R., & Bricker, L.A. (2014). Connected learning environments: Bridging informal and formal environments to support early science learning. In L.P. Kuh (Ed.), Thinking critically about environments for young children: Bridging theory and practice (pp. 129-144). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Bricker, L.A., & Bell, P. (2012). "GodMode is his video game name": Situating learning and identity in structures of social practice. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 7(4), 883-902.

Bell, P., Tzou, C., Bricker, L.A., & Baines, A.D. (2012). Learning in diversities of structures of social practice: Accounting for how, why and where people learn science. Human Development, 55, 269-284.

Bricker, L.A., & Bell, P. (2011). Argumentation and reasoning in life and in school: Implications for the design of school science learning environments. In M.S. Khine (Ed.), Perspectives on scientific argumentation: Theory, practice, and research (pp. 117-134). New York, NY: Springer.

Bricker, L.A., & Bell, P. (2008). Conceptualizations of argumentation from science studies and the learning sciences and their implications for the practices of science education. Science Education, 92(3), 473-498.


Courses & Syllabi

Term Catalogue Course Description Syllabus
Winter 2017 EDUC 791. Foundations of Teaching and Learning EDUC 791. Foundations of Teaching and Learning

Fall 2016 EDUC 591. Learning about How People Learn EDUC 591. Learning about How People Learn

Fall 2013 EDUC 422. Teaching of Science in Secondary Schools EDUC 422. Teaching Secondary School Science

Winter 2015 EDUC 834. Designing Science Learning Environments EDUC 834. Designs of Science Learning Environments

Fall 2014 EDUC 831. Theory and Research on Learning and Instruction in Science EDUC 831. Science Learning - Theories and Research

Fall 2016 EDUC 830. Historical and Philosophical Roots of Science Education EDUC 830. Science Education and Science Studies: Intersections

Winter 2014 EDUC 792. Methods in Educational Research: Qualitative EDUC 792. Qualitative Methods in Educational Research


Room 4047
734.647.2975 lbricker@umich.edu

Curriculum Vitae