June 1, 2018

Penn GSE launches Collaboratory for Teacher Education

The Collaboratory program team (l-r): Kate Kinney-Grossman, Janine Remillard, Chris Pupik Dean, and Alesha Gayle

Penn GSE recently launched an exciting new initiative that grounds three of its renowned teacher education programs in the Collaboratory – a laboratory for the design, implementation, and study of experimental approaches to teacher education. The new initiative houses three unique teacher education programs, ongoing teacher development, and ramped up and inter-woven research on teacher education.  

The Collaboratory kicked off with an April panel discussion entitled “Deepening Teacher Learning Across the Professional Continuum,” moderated by Dean Pam Grossman and featuring Vincent Cobb II (CEO & Co-founder, The Fellowship: Black Male Educators for Social Justice), Sarah Schneider Kavanagh (Research Assistant Professor, Penn GSE), Meredith Mehra (Deputy Chief, Office of Teaching & Learning, The School District of Philadelphia), and AJ Schiera (Social Studies Teacher & Department Chair, Sayre High School).

Janine Remillard has been named Faculty Director of Teacher Education and is overseeing the Collaboratory initiative. “In Penn GSE's teacher education programs, teachers and apprentice teachers learn in different settings, and specialize in different areas," Remillard said. "The Collaboratory will deepen the relationships between these programs, so that students and faculty can build upon one another's research and experiences.”

 The three teacher preparation programs under the Collaboratory banner provide multiple pathways to excellence in teaching. All three programs offer an M.S.Ed. and have been invigorated with new leadership and visions.  

  • The Urban Teaching Apprenticeship Program (UTAP) allows novices to apprentice in an experienced teacher’s classroom in a wide range of schools in Philadelphia while learning from Penn GSE faculty. The 10-month program immerses teachers in urban school communities and is developing strands in Design Thinking and Project-Based Learning. Program director: Kate Kinney-Grossman 
  • The Urban Teaching Residency (UTR) program provides the opportunity for working educators to earn pre-K-12 certification in two years, through evening courses and mentoring. The cohort structure and curriculum prepare teachers to work effectively in high-needs, urban settings. Program director: Alesha Gayle 
  • Independent School Teaching Residency (ISTR) combines a two-year, school-based fellowship with weekend and summer classes for independent day or boarding school teachers. The curriculum is collaboratively developed and taught by partner school leaders and Penn faculty. Program director: Chris Pupik Dean

The Collaboratory is also a growing hub for ongoing learning and engagement for teachers, teacher educators, and teacher education researchers. The initiative offers a suite of ongoing professional development programs in computational thinking, project-based learning, and virtual online teaching, as well as Special Education certification.

The roster of additional Penn GSE certificate programs is expected to grow in the coming years as part of the school’s commitment to life-long teacher development. An ambitious Collaboratory research agenda, which will deeply inform the degree and certificate programs, will be announced later this year.