Primary Education

How teachers can talk about violence at the Capitol

Sigal Ben-Porath outlines a strategy for discussing the historic events with students according to grade and knowledge levels, focusing on the facts of what happened and why it matters.

From Penn GSE

A role model for the changing face of science

Jennifer Stimpson, a chemist, teacher, and recent alumna of the Graduate School of Education’s mid-career program, was named an IF/THEN ambassador. The initiative aims to empower women in STEM to inspire the next generation of learners.

Michele W. Berger

Talking to your kids about the election

Penn GSE’s Caroline Watts offers advice on how to realistically support children during uncertainty. “Don't try to pretend there isn’t uncertainty in the country,” she says. “Be reassuring. No matter what is happening in the outside world, you will take care of the family.”

From Penn GSE

Children’s literature as ‘seed work’

Penn GSE’s Ebony Elizabeth Thomas discusses the importance of more diverse books for kids and the challenges that continue to stifle early anti-racist learning. She also shares a curated list of recommended books for youth catered to this particular moment.

Lauren Hertzler

In the News

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Study: Teaching force grew at more than double the enrollment rate

Richard Ingersoll of the Graduate School of Education and School of Arts & Sciences spoke about how schools and school boards are working to meet demands from parents and lawmakers. “All these demands by parents are very understandable, such as lower class size,” said Ingersoll. “Who wouldn’t want their child to be in a class of 18? And, yes, let’s teach Mandarin and, yes, let’s bring back Latin. There are so many demands but very little recognition of the costs.”


Education Week

Want to improve learning outcomes? Give students more time

Pam Grossman, dean of the Graduate School of Education, wrote an op-ed that proposing rethinking schooling to give students more time to learn. “Let’s use the pandemic to rethink how we expand and enrich learning time for children, especially those most impacted by COVID-19-related disruption,” she wrote.


NBC News

Schools face a substitute teacher crisis. These districts are getting creative to fix it

Richard Ingersoll of the Graduate School of Education and the School of Arts & Sciences commented on how some states and school districts have lessened requirements for substitute teachers in order to meet demand. "When there's difficulty filling classrooms, often the reaction is let's lower the bar, let's widen the gate," he said. "That's disastrous to do that. Basically, you're sacrificing qualifications because you think it's an emergency."


WHYY (Philadelphia)

Early data shows hopeful signs for pandemic learning in Philly, but huge questions remain

Michael Gottfried of the Graduate School of Education said it’s difficult to quantify how school is going for students amid the pandemic. “We’re sort of building the plane as we fly it,” he said. “Everything’s up in the air now. Everything’s been disrupted just from the measurement side.”


Education Week

What principals have learned from COVID-19’s ‘stress test’

The Consortium for Policy Research in Education, housed in the Graduate School of Education, has published five briefs about how U.S. school districts and principals have dealt with the pandemic. “The principals are doing all these amazing things, which are serving urgent needs of kids and families. That’s not taken into account in what we think of as a good school. There is an imbalance between our metrics for assessing quality and the actual role of schools in society,” said Jonathan Supovitz.


The Washington Post

Two key questions teachers should ask students after the election

Sigal Ben-Porath of the Graduate School of Education wrote about how teachers can address questions that arise after the polls close and votes are counted. “Emotionally charged moments can be at the foundation of powerful learning experiences,” she said. “Teachers can use these moments to help their students develop their voices and direct them toward possible action, regardless of the students’ political views.”