Teaching & Leadership

Penn GSE alumna named Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools

Cheryl Logan, a Penn GSE alumna, has been named the Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools.

Logan, a graduate of the Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, had been serving as the School District of Philadelphia's Chief Academic Officer before being tapped to lead Nebraska's largest school district.

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Teaching students to be more respectful than the president

For educators, a central challenge of the Trump presidency is teaching students to engage in debates with a sense of respectfulness Donald Trump seldom uses in his public discourse, according to Penn GSE’s Jonathan Zimmerman. 

Writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer days after reports that Trump disparaged Haiti and African nations in a Cabinet meeting, Zimmerman offered advice for a teacher whose student uses Trump’s words in a debate about immigration.  

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The Best Books of 2017 for Young Readers 

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Ebony Elizabeth Thomas picks the best books of 2017 for young readers

Stories help kids understand who they are and who they can be. Thomas highlights stories that deal with issues like gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic class in ways that are real and empathetic, so all students can better understand our diverse world. 


In 2017, Angie Thomas’s Southern #BlackLivesMatter novel The Hate U Give topped the New York Times Young Adult Best Seller list for 38 weeks — and offered an authentic representation of teens of color that is rarely seen in children’s literature. 


Annual writing and literacy conference brings Philadelphia educators to Penn GSE

The Philadelphia Writing Project (PhilWP), Teachers Institute of Philadelphia, Mighty Writers and Penn GSE’s Reading/Writing/Literacy and Teacher Education Program have a long-standing dedication to improving literacy and learning in all content areas in classrooms and schools in Philadelphia.

[[image|center|caption=View the full photo gallery here.|width=650|src=https://www.gse.upenn.edu/system/files/u225/PhilWP-conference-2017.png]]

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Putting synthetic biology in the hands of high school students

Penn GSE's Yasmin Kafai is bringing the new field of synthetic biology into Philadelphia high schools.

Kafai is collaborating with PennDesign's Orkan Telhan to develop affordable, safe, and user-friendly synthetic biology wetlab kits for high school students. Students use the kits to build genetic circuits, which they insert into microorganisms to manipulate the color, smell, and shape of the organisms.

After working with Penn GSE researchers, Meredith School students take the lead in math class

Before Philadelphia's William M. Meredith School partnered with Penn GSE and the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, most math classes were traditional lectures. But as part of the Ongoing Assessment Project, teachers at the school began reworking their lessons.

Students notice the difference, according to a story in The Philadelphia Tribune.

“We will ask a kid a very open-ended question and the key is to show their thinking," math lead teacher Jessica Tilli told The Philadelphia Tribune.

New honor for pioneering faculty member Yasmin Kafai

Yasmin Kafai, the chair of Penn GSE’s Teaching, Learning and Leadership division, has been named the inaugural Lori and Michael Milken President’s Distinguished Professor in Education.

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How mindful breathing focused Baltimore middle schools

Rebecca Nyquist Baelen, a Penn GSE education policy doctoral student, was part of a team tasked with improving academic performance at three Baltimore middle schools. Teachers told Nyquist Baelen and her colleagues one of their biggest challenges was getting students to calm down and focus.  






How to be happy at school

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Annie McKee offers advice for teachers on how to be happy in their work

Educators enter the profession because of a deep commitment to learning, children, and their communities. But once they arrive in schools, they often find that day-to-day work can be grueling and stressful. In her new book, Penn GSE’s Annie McKee gives readers tools to break the cycle of unhappiness in their daily work. 


Educators enter the profession because of a deep commitment to learning, children, and their communities. But once they arrive in schools, they often find that day-to-day work can be grueling and stressful. The constant message that they’re not doing enough, and not doing it well despite their valiant and often brilliant efforts causes many educators to become frustrated—even unhappy and cynical. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by the high rates of teacher turnover, especially in high-needs schools.


Flores: Segregation, not language background, likely explains proficiency gap for Spanish-speaking English learners

Earlier this year, a study by the Philadelphia Education Research Consortium found that English learners from Spanish-speaking homes in Philadelphia public schools were less likely to be English proficient after third grade than their peers from homes where other languages, such as Chinese or Arabic, were spoken.

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