Penelope Peterson

Penelope L. Peterson

Eleanor R. Baldwin Professor , Education
Dean , School of Education and Social Policy
Professor, Human Development and Social Policy
Professor, Learning Sciences

Annenberg Hall
Room 252
2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-0001
Phone: (847) 467-1190


Penelope L. Peterson is Eleanor R. Baldwin Professor and former Dean of the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) at Northwestern University. Prior to her appointment as Dean in September 1997, she served as University Distinguished Professor of Education at Michigan State University and Sears-Bascom Professor of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her BS degree in psychology and philosophy from Iowa State University and her MA and PhD from Stanford University. Under Peterson’s leadership, SESP has moved to being ranked seventh among the top education schools nationally by U.S. News and World Report. Despite its small size, SESP has achieved numerous distinctions both on campus and nationally. SESP faculty members have gone from bringing in a total of approximately $400,000 of external research funding to more than $700,000 of external funding per SESP faculty member. A past president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Peterson is also a member of the National Academy of Education; a fellow of AERA, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Society; and a member of the Advisory Board of the Adler Planetarium. 



Year Degree Institution
1976 MA, Psychological Studies in Education Stanford University
1976 PhD, Psychological Studies in Education Stanford University
1971 BS, Psychology and Philosophy Iowa State University

Selected Publications

Neumann, A., Pallas, A. M., & Peterson, P. L. (2008). Introduction to the special issue on the campus experience of the Spencer Foundation's Research Training Grant Program. Teachers College Record: 110(4), 1357-1359.

Neumann, A., Pallas, A. M., & Peterson, P. L. (2008). Exploring the investment: four universities' experiences with the Spencer Foundation's Research Training Grant Program; A retrospective. Teachers College Record: 110(4) 1477 - 1503.

Research Interests

Learning and teaching in schools and classrooms, particularly in literacy and mathematics; student and teacher learning in reform contexts; relations among educational research, policy and practice.



SESP 351

Learning Philanthropy: Engaging in the Study and Practice of Giving An aim of this course is to engage students in the study of philanthropy and the practice of giving. The class will bring to this examination a particular set of perspectives emphasizing philanthropic giving intended to improve the lives of children and adults and the opportunities afforded them. Students will be asked to explore their own understandings, values, and philanthropic purposes to decide together wisely, through discussion and deliberation, where, why, and how to contribute grants to people and causes of their choosing.

SESP 398

Honors Thesis (3 units) Students develop,design, implement, and evaluate a research project under a faculty adviserís guidance. Prerequisites: senior status;3.5 cumulative GPA by the end of winter quarter of the junior year; recommendation for the honors program from SESP 391 instructor(s); consent of program director.

Last Updated: 2017-08-31 14:10:18