Teaching & Leadership

After Murder of a Muslim Teenager in Virginia, School Leaders Should be Planning Islamophobia Courses Now, Penn GSE Expert Says

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Jeff Frantz

Muslim families in America are under tremendous pressure and fearful after a year of dramatic increases in hateful anti-Muslim incidents.  

Penn GSE’s Dr. Susan Yoon brings app inventor to Philadelphia schools

Penn GSE Associate Professor Susan Yoon wants science to empower students—both to develop the skills their futures will require and to live as engaged citizens.

“Science content and processes are not just academic things,” she says. “I want students to be able to take what they learn and apply it in the world to do good and effect change.”

Math that students can use in real life, right now

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Janine Remillard and Caroline Brayer Ebby help math teachers create local math curriculum

It’s the question math teachers know will come up at some point, “when am I going to use this in real life?” The best answer: “how about right now?” Standards reforms and curriculum trends emphasizing critical thinking skills are trying to help students engage in mathematics relevant to real life.


But what happens when the context of problems isn’t relatable? That’s what Penn GSE’s Janine Remillard and Caroline Brayer Ebby asked when they saw kids in Philadelphia struggling to make sense of the problems in a curriculum designed to build mathematics from real life contexts. Instead of asking students to solve a problem built around renting motor bikes on a luxury vacation, why not tap into their daily experiences living in America’s poorest big city? These relatable scenarios give them tools to develop critical thinking about their own world.


When students 'game' online learning, they lose

[[image|left|faculty=5559|caption=Dr. Ryan Baker]]Online and blended learning approaches have a blind spot: How do you handle a student that loses focus and doesn’t attempt to progress through a lesson?

“Students are going to get bored, or they are going to game the system, even if it’s a very good system,” said Ryan Baker, a Penn GSE assistant professor and Director of the Penn Center for Learning Analytics.

VAST LIFE program expands horizons of students and future teachers

Studying a map on his iPad, Owen Smith looks up at the street signs and back down at the map. He looks both ways, then turns right down 34th Street, the correct direction for his destination, the Penn Museum.

The decision prompts praise from the group of students crowded around him on the street corner.

Creating meaningful classroom discussions

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Pam Grossman spurs a better whole classroom discussion

Every educator has been there. A classroom discussion falls flat. Instead of watching students trade ideas across the room, the teacher ends up playing verbal ping-pong with individual students while others get bored.

Through text-based, whole classroom discussions, students can learn powerful norms and skills for collaboration such as listening, adding to others’ contributions, tactfully disagreeing, and taking turns. Discussions can deepen understanding on any subject matter.


Teacher Education Program alumnus puts social justice principles into action

The Teacher Education Program (TEP) at Penn GSE has at the heart of its mission a commitment to social justice and urban education. The program focuses on developing education leaders who are prepared to teach diverse learners and promote equity in education.

Yumi Matsumoto studies English as a lingua franca in powerhouse ELX Division

As the world becomes more connected, people from different countries, who speak different languages, need to find ways to communicate. Yumi Matsumoto examines how people from diverse backgrounds use English as a lingua franca to bridge these linguistic and cultural divides.

[[image|left|faculty=5797|caption=Dr. Yumi Matsumoto]]

Teach your students to think like a librarian

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Eleni Miltaskaki explains how you can arm you students against fake news

In 2017, digital literacy is literacy. Eleni Miltsakaki offers ideas for how educators can make this crucial life skill a part of their students' everyday habits.

Spend only a few minutes on social media and you will likely come across a dubious news story or a marketing campaign dressed up as journalism. You might have even fallen for some of these fake stories. With so many sources for news and “news,” it’s perhaps not surprising that researchers recently found 80 percent of middle school students didn’t recognize “sponsored content” on a news organization’s website as paid advertising.

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