Patricia Swanson, PhD

Patricia Swanson

Professor & Chair, Teacher Education 

Patricia Swanson is a Professor of Education at San José State University. She teaches curriculum and instruction courses in mathematics and social studies. Her work reflects the dual perspectives of researcher and practitioner, combining her graduate research with the Program for Complex Instruction at Stanford University with her extensive experience as a bilingual teacher. Her current scholarship focuses on teaching the critical foundations of Algebra in academically and linguistically diverse classrooms and the integration of mathematics and language development.


  • Ph.D., Social Sciences in Education, Stanford University
  • M.A., Administration and Policy Analysis, Stanford University
  • M.A., Sociology, Stanford University
  • Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, San José State University
  • B.A., Sociology and Anthropolgy, Middlebury College

Recent Publications

  • Swanson, P., Rabin, C., Smith, G., Briceño, A., Ervin-Kassab, L., Sexton, D., Mitchell, D. Whitenack, D. A., Asato, J. (2019). Trust your team: Our journey to embed social and emotional learning in a teacher education program focused on social justice. Teacher Education Quarterly 46 (4), 67-92.
  • Swanson, P. (2015). Toy stories: Modeling rates. Teaching Children Mathematics. 22 (2), 76-83.
  • Asato, J. & Swanson, P. (2014). At the intersection of literacy and social studies: Using co-teaching to model Common Core instruction for pre-service teachers. Social Studies Review. (June)

Recent Presentations

  • Hyler, M. E., Markowitz, N., Swanson, P., Norman, P., Jones, M. (November, 2019). Social and emotional learning, cultural competence, and equity in teacher preparation. Webinar hosted by the Educator Preparation Laboratory and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. (invited)

  • Markowitz, N. & Thowdis W. (keynote) with Bacosa, R., Hsieh, B., Kirkwood, K., Sexton, D., Swanson, P. (panelists) (October, 2019). Changemakers in action: Integrating social, emotional, and cultural competencies in teacher preparation programs. Presented at the Fall 2019 Conference of the California Council on Teacher Education. (invited)
  • Markowitz, N., Shuler, J., Strong, B., Asato, J., Swanson, P. (January, 2018). Social-emotional learning & culturally responsive teaching: Responding to the revised teacher performance expectations, webinar for teacher educators. Presented by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Center for Reaching and Teaching the Whole Child, Children Now & San José State University. (invited)

Noteworthy Grants and Awards

  • 2013 S. D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, (Co-PI) $25,000. In collaboration with Dr. Nancy Markowitz and the Center for Reaching and Teaching the Whole Child, this grant funds production of a professional development video in which I will model the integration of social-emotional learning skills into mathematics instruction for teacher educators.

  • 2013 Silicon Valley Community Foundation, (PI) $10,000. Pilot project to provide teacher scholarships for the Advanced Teaching Certificate in Common Core Mathematics and the formation of school based professional learning communities to support teacher learning and implementation.

  • 2013 Research and Scholarship Grant, $7,600. In collaboration with Dr. Jolynn Asato, design and research preservice lesson modules integrating Common Core Reading Standards into the content areas of Mathematics and Social Studies.