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The Teacher Education Program (TEP) at Penn GSE has been preparing teachers in – and for—Philadelphia schools since the University of Pennsylvania first began offering education courses. Today, our vibrant 10-month program emphasizes collaborative, ethical, and visionary teacher leadership for urban education. Our students spend the summer immersed in Philadelphia neighborhoods, and in September they begin yearlong student teacher placements at public and charter schools in those same neighborhoods. TEP graduates become skillful teacher-leaders who are passionate about navigating the dynamic challenges of urban education and who are inspired to use the power of teaching to deepen student learning, transform schools, and increase educational equity.
The Penn GSE – Teach for America Program (TFA) is the only TFA-affiliated program at an Ivy League institution. Corps members commit to teach for at least two years in low-income communities across the United States. In 10 years, our TFA program has graduated over 1,000 teachers, many of whom continue to teach in the Philadelphia, Camden, and Trenton regions. Dedicated to eliminating educational inequity, the Penn GSE-TFA program provides the rigorous academic coursework and professional mentoring necessary to develop candidates into effective successful urban educators and innovative leaders. Please note that applicants must be accepted into a current cohort of the Teach for America program and placed in either the Greater Philadelphia or New Jersey region before being eligible to apply to this program.
Students in the interdisciplinary Reading/Writing/Literacy Program (RWL) study literacy and language from sociopolitical, cultural, psychological, historical, linguistic, and literacy perspectives. Internships in such settings as schools and community and social service agencies allow students to work with learners across generations and cultures.
Penny M. Creedon
The M.S.Ed. specialization in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) focuses on practical and theoretical aspects of the field. The TESOL Master’s specialization stresses understanding of the role and function of English language teaching as it relates to the political and social climate of today’s world. A strong interest in intercultural communication and in the interaction of social behavior and language form a dynamic backdrop to innovative and fundamental aspects of teacher preparation.
Sarah Peyton Kaufman
The Penn Residency Master's in Teaching Program is a groundbreaking collaboration between the Penn Graduate School of Education and a consortium of the nation’s leading boarding schools. With an innovative and comprehensive curriculum designed specifically for the boarding schools’ unique setting, the program provides aspiring teachers an opportunity to receive a master’s degree in education in concert with the exceptional fellowship programs offered by each school. The flexible format is also designed to accommodate the rigorous schedule of the fellows and their host schools: brief, intensive on-site sessions that will rotate between the Penn campus and the campus of each boarding school, paired with innovative and collaborative distance learning.
Associated Director & Lecturer
Dr. Susan Yoon, Associate Professor in GSE’s Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division and rising star in the world of learning sciences, has been elected to a five-year term on the governing board of directors of the International Society of Learning Sciences (ISLS).
In a recent study prepared for the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Education, Professors Matthew Steinberg and Rand Quinn found that the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) does more, per pupil, with its current resources than its closest counterparts in terms of student poverty and achievement.
Connected Play: Tweens in a Virtual World follows nearly a decade’s research, supported by the National Science Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.
As Philadelphia’s public school system faces the start of a new academic year with a crippling lack of financial resources, Penn GSE’s student-run journal Perspectives on Urban Education released a special issue that offers critical analysis, a variety of perspectives, and possible solutions.
Penn is helping to launch EDSi, the only startup incubator in the world solely focused on education.
Schaeffer is pursuing an alternative route to elementary teacher certification, so she's spending the summer accruing observation and teaching hours by volunteering in a pre-k classroom at a school in Southwest Philadelphia.
The incoming class of master’s students in Penn GSE’s Teacher Education Program (TEP) received a warm welcome from Dean Andy Porter at their orientation session on July 1. “You don’t know where your careers will take you,” he said, “but you can be sure that by the time you’re done, thousands of students—and their parents—will remember you for what you’ve done for them.”
Assistant Professor Rand Quinn will lead a research seminar exploring the policy implications for Philadelphia's communities.
“I knew I wanted to be a public school teacher, and I knew that I would be happier in a project-based, inquiry-based environment to really engage kids. I felt that Penn could get me there, and it did.”
“I knew the Teacher Education Program would provide [basics in the classroom] as well as specialization in my subject areas. Penn GSE provided me with the tools, the networking, and the opportunity to enter a field I enjoy and can make a difference in. It made my professional life possible!”
“Immediately after graduation, I accepted the role of Coordinator of Testing and Training for International Teaching Assistants at Penn's English Language Programs. Graduating from the TESOL program made my career.”
“I really wanted to go to Penn, to the Teacher Education Program specifically, because I knew it was one of the best. I really wanted to be inspired, and I was. I had a wonderful experience.”
“I knew I’d be working with city kids, and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything else. Penn equipped us with the necessary content knowledge, but also with the management skills to deal with an entire classroom full of children on a day-to-day basis. It really helped foster my love for education and teaching.”
“I was able to observe other teachers teaching, and they were excellent. I’ve taken what I learned from them and implemented those things in my own classroom. Penn is a very theoretical place with a lot of research going, and it’s wonderful to learn all these ideas about practice. But my favorite part by far was the student teaching.”