University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education

21st Century Teaching & Learning

Penn GSE Virtual Series for Educators

The 21st Century Teaching and Learning series explores an array of teaching concepts and strategies to help you become a more thoughtful and innovative teacher. Facilitated by expert educators from the Penn GSE community, this course will support you to advance your teaching practice in service of your students.

Today's educators face complex challenges and promising opportunities, from the rise of online learning, to an increased focus on authentic experiences, to conversations about race and politics. This course provides a broad introduction to diverse teaching and learning topics designed to help educators explore how to improve and adapt their practice.

Program Format

This series is a fully asynchronous program for K-12 educators and higher education instructors. Each of the six modules is focused on a unique teaching and learning topic, facilitated by experienced educators. Each module provides an introduction to the topic, a brief lesson to learn practical strategies to implement in your classroom, additional resources to learn more, and a chance to reflect on your own practice. Over the course of the program, you will have the opportunity to engage with a global community of educators and learn from their experiences. You will be able to move through the program at your own pace. Once you complete a module, the following module will be released. Each module will consist of approximately 2 hours of engagement; the six modules must be completed before the program end date.

Program of Study

Module 1: Staying Online, In Person
Led by Dr. Alana Elkins

As we transition from a whirlwind online learning experience back into the classroom, let's take a look at what worked well during the pandemic and implement it in person! E-learning can go beyond the screen; many foundational theories are applicable to in-person learning and support inclusive experiences to meet the diverse and evolving learning needs of our students. This module will offer concepts and resources that can be applied to your daily classroom communities.

Dr. Alana Elkins is the Assistant Director of the Penn GSE Center for Professional Learning, with expertise in instructional design and educational innovation.

Module 2: Managing Difficult Emotions as an Educator
Led by Dr. Taylor Hausburg

Modeling healthy responses to challenging situations is an essential part of supporting students' social-emotional learning. So how can educators navigate the difficult emotions that inevitably arise in the course of teaching and leading? This module will explore where difficult emotions come from and offer self-regulation strategies for educators to use in their own practice.

Dr. Taylor Hausburg is the Teacher Program Lead at the Penn GSE Center for Professional Learning, with research interests in social-emotional teaching and learning, leadership development, and curriculum design.

Module 3: Teaching with Simulations
Led by Dr. Zachary Herrmann

Simulations can be an effective strategy to help students learn complex ideas in engaging ways. However, effectively designing and facilitating simulations can be challenging. This module will offer tangible strategies and ideas to design and facilitate productive simulations that lead to deep learning.

Dr. Zachary Herrmann is the Director of the Penn GSE Center for Professional Learning and an adjunct assistant professor, whose research includes project-based learning, leadership, and team effectiveness.

Module 4: Backwards Planning for Teaching Leadership
Led by Dr. Charlotte Jacobs

Educators create plans to teach academic goals, but what does planning for social-emotional learning goals look like? In this module, participants will explore a planning framework for teaching SEL goals in a way that supports self-actualization and equity. Along the way, participants will apply this framework to one particular SEL goal leadership and learn instructional strategies for supporting this important social-emotional practice.

Dr. Charlotte Jacobs is an adjunct assistant professor at Penn GSE with a background in adolescent development, multicultural education, and teacher education.

Module 5: Using the Science of Learning to Improve Student Learning
Led by Dr. Chris Pupik Dean

Our understanding of how students learn most effectively has grown significantly in recent decades, but many classrooms still rely on strategies that do not take advantage of these understandings. This module will share 3 strategies, share how they are connected to learning science, and provide an opportunity to practice incorporating them into lessons.

Dr. Christopher Pupik Dean is the director of the Penn GSE Urban Teaching Apprenticeship Program, with expertise in teacher education, project-based learning, and citizenship education.

Who Should Enroll

Ideal participants are K-12 educators and higher education instructors.

Key Topics
  • Teacher Education
  • Teaching Strategies
  • Online Teaching
  • Social-Emotional Teaching and Learning
  • Diversity and Inclusion



The 21st Century Teaching and Learning program draws on leading scholars, researchers, and practitioners for its teaching faculty.

Dr. Alana Elkins

Assistant Director

Penn GSE

Taylor Hausburg, M.A.

Ed.D. Candidate
Penn GSE

Penn GSE Faculty Zachary Herrmann
Dr. Zachary Herrmann

Assistant Adjunct Professor

Penn GSE

Dr. Charlotte Jacobs

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Penn GSE

Dr. Chris Pupik Dean

Director and Senior Fellow
Penn GSE


Registration Form - July
This program will run from July 21 - September 21

Registration Form - October
This program will run from October 25 - December 12


2 months



Asynchronous online course with 6 modules; You will be able to move through the program at your own pace. Once you complete a module, the following module will be released. You will have 2 months to complete the program.





If you're interested in purchasing a school group pass, please contact for more information.


Individuals who successfully complete all required components of the institute will receive a Penn GSE Certificate of Participation. This program is also eligible for Act 48 credits for Pennsylvania educators.

Contact Us

Please contact with any questions about this program.