Department of Teacher Education

Dr. Patricia Dean (website)

Patricia DeanDr. Patricia Dean received her Ph.D. from Penn State University in Curriculum and Instruction with emphases on Language and Literacy Education and Early Childhood Education. Prior to her moving to Salisbury in 2002, Patricia resided in northwestern Pennsylvania where she taught Pre-K, K, 1st & 2nd Grade, and Gifted Education (Grades 1 through 12) over many years. 

Currently you will find Dr. Dean teaching a wide variety of courses at SU. As director of the early childhood education program, including double majors, she spends much of her time teaching classes in this area. The early childhood methods courses focus on teaching children from Pre-K through Grade 3. The subjects she instructs include Emergent Literacy, Social Studies, Inquiry Learning (encompassing all subjects), and Classroom Management, threading the Arts throughout all of the courses. She also teaches the children’s literature course (ELED408) for early childhood/elementary education majors. Getting teacher candidates to love to read children’s books is high on her list. There’s no shortage of materials for the children’s literature course; her office is like a mini children’s library! Graduate courses she teaches focus mainly on literacy. 

If studying abroad within the education department sounds interesting, talk with Dr. Dean! She has lots of information (and experiences!) about international opportunities through the children’s literature methods course (summers) and internships abroad to China and New Zealand (see Dr. Marasco for the Virgin Islands Internship). Dr. Dean is the mentor and advisor for early childhood and elementary education interns teaching at Western Academy of Beijing (WAB), Beijing, China. She also studied briefly in Italy to learn more about the Reggio Emilia Approach, incorporating the philosophy into her ECED courses. For more information about International Programs and additional activities, visit her website.

Dr. Patricia Dean resides in Salisbury and spends as much time at Assateague as she can (with a book and her dog!). Her three grown children come by often to get beach time as well. If she’s not at the beach, she’ll be at home reading with her dog on her lap, grooming her flower bed, traveling with university students, or working diligently at Salisbury University, and always with a camera in her pocket. 

Over the past 10 years, Dr. Dean has spent a lot of time learning about diverse cultures and social justice. She’s an avid reader and often reads current materials to continually learn ways to enhance learning for all children and to gain a better understanding of many different cultures worldwide. 

The National Green Earth Book Award is given each spring at Salisbury University. Dr. Dean is part of the selection panel for the children’s book that receives the award for environmental stewardship. If you would like to learn more about the Green Earth Book Award, please go to: and click on Green Earth Book Awards. 

Dr. Dean has been a member of the International Research Society of Children’s Literature (IRSCL), National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE), Eastern Shore Association for the Education of Young Children (ESAEYC), International Reading Association (IRA), College Reading Association (CRA), Southern Maryland International Reading Association (SoMIRAC) and a member of the Eastern Shore Reading Council (ESRC).