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Patricia Paulson

Job Titles

  • Professor of Science Education
    Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences
    Education, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Adjunct Instructor
    Ed.D., Graduate School
    Teaching (M.A.), Graduate School
  • Program Director
    STEM in K-12 Education Certificate, Graduate School

Started at Bethel



  • Muskingum College - B.S. in Psychology, Elementary Licensure, 1972
  • St. Cloud State University - M.S. in Educational Administration; Life Science Education Licensure, 1979
  • Capella University - Ph.D., 2005

Areas of expertise

Paulson focuses her research on trustworthy practices for learning science, focusing specifically on scientific practices. She has led the GEMS program, coordinates the STEM certification program, teaches Life Science Concepts, Applied STEM Practices, and Science Curriculum and Methods at all levels. Paulson also teaches in the Ed.D. program.


Dr. Paulson has taught at all levels, from kindergarten to college, and served as the curriculum coordinator for science for Anoka-Hennepin ISD #11 prior to coming to Bethel. Her major areas of research are in authentic instruction in STEM, including the emphasis of scientific practices and performance assessments. She has also worked extensively to address gender issues and science teaching practices. She lives in Cambridge, MN with her husband, Craig, has three grown sons, and eight grandchildren. 


LEGO Corporation Higher Education 2013. Grant for $3000 for materials and feedback to LEGO for use in teacher preparation.

BSCS (Biological Sciences Curriculum Study) VISTA (Video Cases for Science Teaching Analysis) project (November, 2011) 

National Women’s Collaborative NSF Grant (2010): Girls In Science: Changing the World (2007-2009) Girls In Science: Changing the World (Honeywell Grant)

January 2-13, 2009 Selected by Boston University to study at Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Ecuador 

Alumni Grant ($750) for development of Nature Trail (Co-authored with Dr. Kistler and Dr. Becknell)

Alumni Grant ($5000) for presentation of Math/ Science Festival at Bethel (Coauthored with Dr. Horn and Dr. Probert)

3M Grant ($50,000) for “Super Saturday Science for Wet Cement Kids” (Coordinated seventeen Saturdays for science in St. Paul Frogtown).


SciMathMN & Minnesota Department of Education: Minnesota Frameworks for Mathematics and Science (2012), Science for All. http://scimathmn.org/stemtc/

Paulson, P., Williams-Tuenge, L., Roth, S., Wippler, R., & Paulson, D. (2009). Inquiry is elementary: Differing approaches to inquiry within two elementary schools. In Inquiry: The Key to Exemplary Science, R. Yager, Ed. pp. 139-150. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.

Paulson, P. (2010). Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning. In Bethel University Engaged Teaching and Learning Series, J. Rasmussen, Ed.

Paulson, P. (2010). Lenses on the rainforest. Field Notes VI:1. NY: Red Hook. Bard College Publication.

Professional Organizations, Committees, and Boards

NSTA, AAAS, ASTE, NARST, ASCD. Serves on NSTA National Committee for Elementary Science.

Hobbies and Interests

Biking, reading, camping


“"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." Job 12:7-10 NIV”