PELS Program

Penn Educational Leadership Simulation Program

Learning from and building upon leaders’ experiences tackling real-world challenges.

Project Overview

PELS is an innovative, research-based collaboration between Penn GSE and the three major professional associations for K-12 school leaders (AASA, NAESP, NASSP; combined membership of more than 45,000). The goal of this venture is to develop human capital in school leadership through blended peer-to-peer (P2P) professional development. PELS will train school and district leaders to author computer-based pathing simulations (“sims”), drawing out leaders’ own experiences tackling real-world challenges. These sims will be marketed to schools, districts, preparation programs and individual school leaders in need of professional development, providing participants with context-rich, problem-based learning modules. PELS is cost-effective and highly scalable, with the potential to reach thousands of principals and superintendents quickly, thereby benefiting hundreds of thousands of students with improved leadership. Our approach intentionally builds out, within three years, a self-sustaining P2P professional infrastructure with which to continue developing effective leaders. Since 2010 the Penn Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership has incubated PELS. We initially developed two text-based sims, and last year began developing graphically-rich micro-sims under the current platform. Approximately a dozen sims have been developed or are under development now.

Simulation Development

The culminating product for simulation development and authorship activities will be the thoughtful construction of each participant's own micro-simulation (or "micro-sim"). Each of these will be focused in scope and time of the storyline and involve a limited number of actions or decision points. Every micro-sim developed will contribute to a growing library of diverse sim titles to be housed by the PELS Program.

Drawing on this library, we select the best and combine multiple micro-sims (created by different people) into "multi-sim product packages.” These packages are affordable for use by school districts and leadership training programs while still supporting the building and growth of a sustainable initiative and program. The bundled sims are also available as supplemental materials to existing educational leadership courses and may be used as course materials in our workshops, Fellows Institutes, and additional sim-based professional development offered by the collaborating professional associations – AASA, NAESP and NASSP.

Meet the Fellows

PELS Sim Author Fellows come from a variety of backgrounds in education, all sharing at least two common characteristics: extensive experience as a practitioner of educational leadership and a strong academic background. The current program fellows include:

Ryan Monaghan, Ed.D.

K-12 Supervisor of Instruction & Language Arts Curriculum
Owen J. Roberts School District, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Karen Kolsky, Ed.D.

Assistant Superintendent Leadership and Talent Development
School Distict of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Wilbur Parker, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor - Educational Leadership and Science Education, Howard University
Formerly Regional Outreach Director, National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, Washington, DC

Kathleen Sciarappa, Ed.D.

NAESP PELS Fellow
School Leaders Mentor Program Coordinator
New Hampshire Association of School Principals

Peter Carpenter, Ed.D.

NAESP PELS Fellow
Principal
Emmorton Elementary School, Bel Air, Maryland

Melissa “Missie” Patschke, Ed.D.

NAESP PELS Fellow
Principal
Upper Providence Elementary School, Royersford, Pennsylvania

Linda Grobman, Ed.D.

Chief Academic Officer at Nobel Learning Communities Incorporated
Formerly Superintendent of Schools, Radnor Township School District, Radnor, Pennsylvania

Featured Fellow

Wilbur Parker, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor - Educational Leadership and Science Education, Howard University
Formerly Regional Outreach Director, National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, Washington, DC

Featured Fellow

Kathleen Sciarappa, Ed.D.

NAESP PELS Fellow
School Leaders Mentor Program Coordinator
New Hampshire Association of School Principals

Featured Fellow

Ryan Monaghan, Ed.D.

K-12 Supervisor of Instruction & Language Arts Curriculum
Owen J. Roberts School District, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Sarah McMenamin, Ed.D.

Director of Early Childhood Education Programs
Germantown Friends School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Carol Baker, Ed.D.

Language Arts/Social Studies Supervisor
Flemington-Raritan Regional School District, Flemington, New Jersey

Andrea Danial, Ed.D.

Head of Lower School
The Episcopal Academy, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

Juliette Pennyman, Ed.D.

Zone Chief, Division of Teaching and Learning
Rochester City School District, Rochester, New York

Eric Yoak, Ed.D.

Research Fellow—Penn Center for Educational Leadership
Formerly Secondary School Principal/Director of Organization, The American School of Pachuca, Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico

Mustafa Abdul-Jabbar, Ed.D.

Research Fellow—Penn Center for Educational Leadership
Formerly Chief Executive Officer, E Pluribus Unum Charter School Project, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Program Leadership

Michael Johanek, Program Director

Michael Johanek, Ed.D., is a Senior Fellow at Penn GSE and Director of its Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Co-Director of the Inter-American Educational Leadership Network (IAELN/RILE), and affiliated faculty for the International Educational Development Program. Before coming to Penn in 2007, Dr. Johanek served as Vice President of Professional Services for Teachscape, a for-profit blended technology services company. He is the former Executive Director for K-12 Professional Development, The College Board, where he managed programs supporting over 500,000 middle and high school teachers, college faculty, coordinators, and administrators, including those involved in the Advanced Placement Program. There he founded, developed, and managed a program development and operations department with responsibilities including new product development, in-person training, web services, electronic and print publications, regional office operational support, marketing and research. Committed to building and sustaining professional networks of educational leaders, Dr. Johanek actively explores and develops synergistic opportunities to bring together resources, ideas, and people to create innovative ways to support educational improvement.

Contact information:

Mike Johanek, Ed.D.

PELS Program Director, Penn GSE
Senior Fellow, Penn GSE
Dr. Johanek's Website

Eric Bernstein, Associate Program Director

Eric R. Bernstein, J.D., Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education where he teaches in the MAT@USC Program, an innovative, synchronous, face-to-face online teacher education program. Earlier, Dr. Bernstein was a high school principal in Hartford, Connecticut, for four years and the founding director of the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Interdistrict Magnet School. He has also served as a middle school assistant principal and a middle school math and social studies teacher. Dr. Bernstein has a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut. He is a graduate of the Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and an active Mid-Career Program Network Associate. Dr. Bernstein brings to the PELS Program deep insights into the lived experiences of educational leaders and the contexts in which they work. These insights and experiences uniquely position Dr. Bernstein to understand the complex nature of interpersonal relations between school leaders, staff, parents, and students, a key aspect of what we hope to bring forward and further explore through the PELS Program.

Contact information:

Eric Bernstein, J.D., Ed.D.

PELS Associate Program Director, PennGSE
Assistant Professor of Clinical Education,
University of Southern California
eric.bernstein@usc.edu
213.438.9516

Contact

If you would like more information on the PELS Program or are interested in becoming involved with this exciting innovation in educational leadership preparation and professional development, please complete the form below and we will contact you!

 

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