Penn GSE

Urban Teaching Apprenticeship


Aruna M. Arjunan

Upon completion of the secondary education program at Penn GSE, Ms. Arjunan became a founding teacher at the School of the Future in Philadelphia. She taught social studies there for five years before moving to the premier magnet school in the District, Central High School, teaching social studies. Last year, she was selected to serve on the Mayoral Teacher Advisory Group.

Drawing upon her diverse teaching background, Ms. Arjunan brings a range of experiences to the Penn GSE teacher education program. After 7 years in the classroom, she continues to grow and develop her teaching skills, and continues to do so while working with the candidates in the Penn GSE TEP program. Ms. Arjunan teaches EDUC 544, School & Society, in the secondary education program.

Tamika Barrow

Tamika Barrow was a 2000 New York City Teach for America corps member. She spent several years in the classroom teaching 4th, 5th and 6th grade before transitioning to a role as a literacy coach in a K-8 school in the Inwood section of Manhattan. She is certified in teaching preK-6th, school administration and supervision, and district administration. She is currently working on her doctorate at the Graduate School of Education. She teaches EDUC 520 Literacy Methods in the Elementary/Middle Level Classroom.

Rachael Eriksen Brown

Dr. Rachael Eriksen Brown received a B.A. in mathematics with a minor in philosophy from Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., in 2000. She earned an M.S. in the natural sciences from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2003 and a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Georgia in 2009.

Rachael taught mathematics at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, Vt., from 2000 to 2003 while working on her master’s degree. She and her husband then moved to the St. Louis area where she worked at Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Mo. While at the University of Georgia, she worked on a study of teachers’ content knowledge and community building in professional development. From 2006 to 2009, she was a graduate assistant in the Learning and Performance Support Lab at the University of Georgia. She teaches EDUC 6227.002, Math Methods, in the secondary education program.

Peggy Hickman

Dr. Peggy Hickman completed her Ph.D. in Multicultural Special Education at the University of Texas, Austin. Her research interests include multicultural special education, early literacy/ bi-literacy, and educational leadership in diverse cultural and linguistic environments, in relation to general and special education. She has taught undergraduate, masters, and doctoral courses on these topics for the past 10 years, and consults and presents locally, regionally, nationally and internationally on these topics. She has published articles in Learning Disabilities Quarterly, Exceptional Children, Teaching Exceptional Children, and The Reading Teacher, Curriculum and Teaching, and a co-authored book published by the International Reading Association entitled Dynamic Read-Aloud Strategies for English Learners: Building Language and Literacy in the Primary Grades. In addition, Dr. Hickman taught school-aged students for 9 years including students in pre-kindergarten through second grade in monolingual English and bilingual inclusive settings. She currently teaches EDUC 540, Teaching Diverse Learners for both the early elementary/middle level and secondary education programs.

Gillian Maimon

Gillian Maimon has been a teacher in the Philadelphia public schools since 1996, where she has taught first, second, and third grades. She writes regularly about her experiences with children, both to enrich her teaching and to inform others who work outside of the classroom. Since 2001, Maimon has taught pre-service teachers at Penn GSE, opening the doors of her elementary classroom as a site for fieldwork to all of her university students. She is an active member of the Philadelphia Teachers Learning Cooperative (PTLC), a practitioner inquiry group that has met every week since 1978. Maimon’s involvement with PTLC, centered on close observation and description of children’s work as well as her own work, has profoundly shaped her classroom practice. She teaches EDUC 545, Summer Seminar: Reading and Writing Across the Content Areas in the early elementary/middle level program.

Jessica Whitelaw

Jessica Whitelaw began her career in education in 1994 in public schools in Colorado where she was a middle school literacy teacher for eleven years, a secondary literacy coach, a school instructional leader, and a district literacy coordinator. During that time, she came to understand teaching as a site of research and inquiry, and developed an interest in teacher leadership and collaborative school cultures. In 2001, she earned a master’s degree in Curriculum from the University of Colorado at Boulder and in 2012, a Ph.D. in Language and Literacy in Education from Penn GSE, where she has taught since 2007. Her teaching and scholarship focuses on intersections among arts-based pedagogies, multimodal literacies, and critical inquiry as approaches to engagement and equity in schooling.