Penelope Peterson
Northwestern University
Eleanor R. Baldwin Professor Emerita and Dean Emerita

Year Elected


Membership status

Prior to her appointment as Dean, Northwestern University, in September 1997, Penelope Peterson served as University Distinguished Professor of Education at Michigan State University and Sears-Bascom Professor of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Under Peterson’s leadership, SESP has moved up from a rank of 20 by U.S. News and World Reports to being ranked consistently among the top ten schools of education nationally. Peterson's books include Restructuring in the Classroom: Teaching, Learning, and School Organization (with Richard Elmore and Sarah McCarthey) and Learning from Our Lives: Women, Research, and Autobiography in Education (with Anna Neumann). Peterson is past president of the American Educational Research Association. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the American Educational Research Association. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. Recently she co-edited (with Eva Baker and Barry McGaw) the International Encyclopedia of Education, Third Edition, which incorporates eight volumes. In addition to her role as dean, Peterson co-teaches with Andrew Ortony the beginning course in the Learning Sciences graduate program, and she directs the undergraduate Honors Program in the School of Education and Social Policy.

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