Gerald LeTendre earns College of Education's Outstanding Senior Researcher Award

April 08, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The College of Education is publishing brief profiles of faculty, staff and students who would have been honored at the annual spring appreciation and awards luncheon. 

Faculty, staff and students who have made significant contributions to their fields were selected through nomination letters prompted by their outstanding service and dedication to their job. 

Today’s featured award winner is Gerald LeTendre, who earned the college’s Outstanding Senior Researcher Award.

This award recognizes the overall impact of one’s research and typically is given to a faculty member who has achieved national and international recognition. LeTendre is a professor of education in the Department of Education Policy Studies.

For the past decade, LeTendre has focused on the study of teacher quality, an area in which he is now considered a global expert and for which he has received a number of grants (including one from the American Educational Research Association), resulting in numerous publications.

“The regard with which Gerry is held is also clear from the scholars he has been able to attract to conferences at Penn State,” said David Gamson, associate professor of education in education policy studies. 

“His command of material in a number of subfields is a testament to his command of a range of material and his expertise that demonstrates both depth and breadth, illustrated by many encyclopedia entries and his editorial leadership of the American Journal of Education. Gerry LeTendre exemplifies the kind of researcher whose scholarship has significance, influence and impact,” Gamson said.

Alexander W. Wiseman, professor of educational leadership and policy in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership at Texas Tech University, said LeTendre’s research has significantly impacted his own work.

“Dr. LeTendre’s research has shaped the work of multiple generations of scholars, policymakers and educators,” Alexander said.

Alexander cited LeTendre’s book "Learning to be Adolescent: Growing Up in U.S. and Japanese Middle Schools," as being not only influential in his work but also influencing a generation of comparative education scholars and pre-service teacher candidates. 

“This was also one of the most forward-thinking analyses of organizational culture in schools that had been done in a comparative context to that point (and since),” Alexander said.

Kristina Brezicha, an assistant professor at Georgia State University, was a graduate student under LeTendre at Penn State in 2011, and LeTendre then served as her comparative and international education adviser.

Brezicha, like Gamson, said LeTendre is a prolific writer who has been an invited and keynote speaker at universities, conferences and nongovernmental organizations around the world.

“Dr. LeTendre’s impressive body of work speaks to his persistent curiosity with the big questions that shape the global educational systems,” Brezicha said. “Through his work, we have come to understand more fully how international trends have shaped national schooling and students’ and teachers’ experiences therein.”

Award winners are:

  • Outstanding Senior Researcher Award: Gerald LeTendre
  • Outstanding Teaching Award: Uju Anya
  • Outstanding Junior Researcher Award: Jennifer Frank
  • Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award: Ashley Patterson
  • Career Achievement Award: Simon Hooper
  • Climate Enhancement Award: JT Taylor
  • Outstanding Staff Award: Megan Foster and Darlene Kolesar
  • Graduate Student Recognition Award: Kaela Fuentes-Packnick
  • Undergraduate Student Leadership and Service Award: Taylor Young

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 22, 2020