Photo of Ricketts, Amy

Amy Ricketts

Postdoc Research Associate

Learning Sciences Research Institute


Building & Room:

1570-H SSB


1240 W Harrison St


CV Download:

Amy Ricketts CV


For thirteen years, I taught elementary and middle school science in Southern California public schools.  During that time I became increasingly frustrated with the lack of professional learning opportunities available to me, and decided to pursue a doctoral degree to continue my learning.  In graduate school, everything I thought I knew about professional development was turned (literally) upside down. Now, my passion is supporting teacher learning across the career span through job-embedded professional development—namely designing, facilitating and researching school-based, collaborative professional learning communities that position teachers with agency.  Most importantly, I strive to learn with and from teachers.

Selected Publications

Ricketts, A. (2018). Analyzing the generative nature of science teachers’ professional discourse. In G. K. Kelly & J. Green (Eds.), Theory and methods for sociocultural research in science and engineering education (pp. 206-233). New York: Routledge.

Kelly, G. J., Cunningham, C. M., & Ricketts, A. (2017). Engaging in identity work through engineering practices in elementary classrooms. Linguistics and Education, 39, 48-59.

Knight, S. & Ricketts, A. (2015). Professional learning communities. In L. H. Meyer (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Education. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ricketts, A. (2014). Preservice elementary teachers’ ideas about scientific practices. Science & Education 23, 2119-2135.

Ricketts, A. (2013). The Five Commonplaces: A curriculum analysis and its implications for teacher education. Pennsylvania Teacher Educator, 12, 29-36.

Ricketts, A. (2011). Using inquiry to break the language barrier: English language learners and science fairs. The Science Teacher, 78(8), 24-26.


2017 Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, Curriculum & Instruction (Teacher Education/Science Education
2004 M.S.Ed. University of Southern California, Curriculum & Instruction (Science Education)
1997 B.A.Ed. University of Michigan, Elementary Education (Science content concentration)

Research Currently in Progress

At UIC, I am a researcher on the NSF-funded project: LETS Science: Language- Enhanced Teaching in Superdiverse High School Science Classrooms. (NSF DRL # 1813937). This project aims to contribute to our understanding of how science teachers learn to best support students in linguistically “superdiverse” schools.