Strength #2

Practical Knowledge

Being a part of Penn means drawing inspiration from University founder Benjamin Franklin.

Like Franklin, GSE solves problems by combining theoretical and practical wisdom.

“Practical knowledge is a hallmark of Penn GSE,” observes Dean Pam Grossman. “As a professional school at Penn, we are deeply committed to producing knowledge that is relevant to professionals in our field and addresses crucial problems of practice.”

Faculty and students at Penn GSE study real challenges in the world, such as changes in the teaching workforce, the educational needs of homeless children, the impact of debates about the Common Core State Standards, and best practices for preparing educational leaders. Penn GSE students gain practical experience in their professions through field placements and internships, and teachers in training use research skills to determine how well they are reaching their students.

Looking ahead, Dean Grossman sees Penn GSE developing new vehicles—communication platforms, professional development programs, and more—to foster two-way dialogues between researchers and practitioners. “The School has done an incredible job of bridging research and practice, and we are prepared to be even more ambitious in this area,” she says.

  • Generating research that matters

    Male professor in glasses standing and talking.

    To improve education, health, and human services policies and practices through the use of “big data,” Professor John W. Fantuzzo of Penn GSE founded Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy with Professor Dennis Culhane of Penn Social Policy and Practice, partnering with school systems, cities, municipal governments, and states to create a national model for integrated data.

  • Learning on the ground

    Students in class, two raising their hands.

    Field placements in teacher education and professional counseling programs at Penn GSE keep graduate students connected to the practical demands of their future careers.

  • Meeting the needs of professionals

    Children on computers

    Penn GSE’s Virtual Online Teaching (VOLT) program offers the first online certificate for online teaching, training instructors in best practices to reach students of all ages through virtual teaching.