Reading: A Journey © 2005 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Donald Gensler. Used by permission.

At Penn GSE, our students and faculty move education forward every day. Read the latest news about our work below. For media inquiries, please visit the Penn GSE Press Room.


Ebony Elizabeth Thomas uses LA Times reviews to highlight multicultural children’s literature

January 28, 2015 — Children’s and adolescent texts are a major focal point of Ebony Elizabeth Thomas’s research at Penn GSE. She focuses on the absence and failed representation of multicultural characters in these stories. This shortage of children’s and young adult books which present diverse characters positively, Thomas argues, has decreased the desire of marginalized and minority youth to pick up a book and read.

Q & A with Pedro Rivera, Acting Pa. Secretary of Education and student in Penn GSE’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership

January 26, 2015 — Pennsylvania’s new governor Tom Wolf was elected after making education the centerpiece of his campaign.

He chose Pedro Rivera, a student in Penn GSE’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and, until last week, Superintendent of the Lancaster School District, to carry out his vision as Acting Secretary of Education. Rivera co-chaired the education committee for Wolf’s transition team.

Sharon Ravitch discusses international development at Africa-America Institute symposium

January 23, 2015 — There’s a real danger when doing international development work of well-meaning organizations reinforcing a harmful deficit narrative.

That was a key message Penn GSE Senior Lecturer Sharon Ravitch delivered in her presentation to the Africa-America Institute’s symposium “The Future of African Leadership — Assembling Leadership Development on the Continent.” The event was held at Penn GSE in December.

Kickstarter campaign aims to develop educational toys from Yasmin Kafai’s research

January 15, 2015 — In the last five years, Yasmin Kafai has found ways to bridge a traditional craft, sewing, with technology to provide new ways for children to learn creatively about electronics. That has included partnerships with Penn’s School of Design and the Franklin Institute, an annual festival, and, a website and project backed by the National Science Foundation.

Now Kafai and her partners have extended the research project by creating Cirkits, a circus-themed sewable electronics kit for children ages 6 to 10.

Penn GSE's first MOOC tells the history of education reform

January 12, 2015 — The calls for education reform in the United States began soon after the first schoolhouses opened.

 The story of how the American public school system was built — as well as successful and failed efforts to change it — offers important lessons for anyone interested in improving education today.

New Year Begins With a New Dean at Penn GSE

January 5, 2015 — With a focus on continuing her career-long commitment to teacher education, Pam Grossman has joined the faculty of Penn GSE as its 13th dean. Grossman, an internationally renowned scholar, arrived at Penn on January 1 from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, where she helped found the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching. 

Shaun Harper's students are solving real problems for campus leaders

A team from Shaun Harper’s Higher Education Case Studies class is filmed during a leaderless group discussion, one of the innovative aspects of the course.

December 16, 2014 — Kelly Wilcox came to Penn GSE after a year working in Cornell’s student affairs office with a plan.

Yasmin Kafai helps Penn Alexander students learn basic computer coding

December 15, 2014 — A group of students at the Penn Alexander School are getting a new look at computer games. It isn't by playing them, though — it's by building them. 

An elective course, designed by Penn GSE professor Yasmin Kafai and overseen by doctoral student Veena Vasudevan, teaches students the basics of computer coding, as WHYY recently reported.

Coding should be considered part of "basic literacy" for today's children, Kafai told WHYY. 

Penn GSE alum Larissa Pahomov pens book on innovative teaching methods

December 12, 2014 — Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy (SLA) is well known for its one-to-one initiative—providing each student a laptop—but computers alone aren’t the reason why students at this high school succeed.

Penn GSE's website wins Davey Award for design and functionality

Penn GSE’s website has been recognized as one of the best designed and most usable in the world of education.

The school won a Silver Davey Award in the “Schools and Universities” category for its website’s design and functionality. The award comes after GSE unveiled a new website last year that was designed to be more attractive, easier to navigate, and functional on all categories of devices.