Teaching & Leadership

Penn GSE student helps local immigrants and refugees learn English

Each of the five students in the English class is a refugee, each from a different country, each with a different language. The volunteer teacher, Anne Pyzocha, is a student herself, in the last semester of GSE’s two-year Master of Science in Education in the Educational Linguistics Division, specializing in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, or TESOL.

Students create wearable tech to learn computer science

Brianna Maldonado held her hands still as Eva Snyder sewed a sensor into the knit glove Maldonado wore. They and their 11th grade classmates at String Theory’s Performance Arts School in Philadelphia were taking part in an e-textile lesson created by Penn GSE’s Yasmin Kafai. Professor Kafai, chair of Penn GSE’s Teaching, Learning and Leadership division, is renowned for her pioneering research around learning and electronic gaming.

Flores: Philadelphia once a national leader in bilingual education

For several years, the School District of Philadelphia has been expanding its dual language immersion programs, with some help from Penn GSE educational linguist Nelson Flores.

There are now six district schools that have programs teaching students in both English and Spanish, with hopes to add more schools. In some ways,  this recent expansion represents the rebuilding of what was once a robust climate for bilingual learning.

Ebony Elizabeth Thomas picks the Best Books of 2016 for Young Readers

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Ebony Elizabeth Thomas names the best books for young readers of 2016.

Throughout the year, Thomas tweets recommended books via the Twitter account @healingfictions. Here are her 2016 favorites that deal with issues like gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic class in ways that are real and empathetic.


Ebony Elizabeth Thomas often starts her classes by telling students, “books travel where we do not.” As an assistant professor of literacy at Penn GSE, Thomas believes that is especially true for children’s books, which can introduce children to people, cultures, and ideas on the page long before children can make the connection in person.


Baker cooks up new Center for Learning Analytics

There has been a revolution in educational data mining over the past few years – and new frontiers in adaptive or personalized learning are rapidly opening up. This is according to Penn GSE Associate Professor Ryan Baker, whose research is situated at the bleeding edge of technology and learning.  Baker researches how students use and learn from educational games, intelligent tutors, simulations, and other kinds of educational software. These changes present new challenges and opportunities for teachers, students, and researchers.

Five Penn GSE students develop peace curriculum for UNESCO

A curriculum guide developed for UNESCO by five Penn GSE students during a class last spring is now available to teachers in sub-Saharan Africa.

How to confront hate speech at school

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Howard Stevenson offers advice for how educators can protect their students and care for themselves

There has been a spike in racial and ethnic intimidation and harassment since the presidential election. Many of these incidents are happening at K-12 schools. Penn GSE's Howard Stevenson offers advice for how educators can protect their students and care for themselves.

In the three days after the presidential election, the Southern Poverty Law Center documented more than 200 incidents of intimidation and harassment based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual identity.


A self-care checklist

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When educators are under mental duress, they often focus on how they can help their students. This is both natural and noble. But Howard Stevenson, a Penn GSE clinical psychologist who specializes in trauma, believes educators limit their impact and put themselves at risk if they don’t take steps to care for their well-being.

Stevenson offers this checklist for helping educators navigate through stressful situations.

Supporting students in a changing school landscape

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Kate Kinney Grossman shares ideas for building an "identity safe" school and classroom

For children to thrive as learners, they need to feel all aspects of their identity are welcomed in a school. Kate Kinney Grossman shares these ideas for building an “identity safe” school and classroom.


For too long, many people talked about diverse schools as if they only existed in urban areas. But look at our nation’s changing demographics. Schools in the cities, suburbs, and rural communities are now filled with students from an array of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, with different religious beliefs and sexual orientations. The data shows public schools are more diverse than the electorate or many workplaces.


Grossman: Improving teacher education programs will improve student achievement

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The U.S. Department of Education has a role to play in improving the quality of teacher education across the country, Penn GSE Dean Pam Grossman writes in the Huffington Post.

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