Michael C. Reichert, Ph.D.

Executive Director


Georgetown University, BSFS, 1974
University of Pennsylvania, MS.Ed., 1980
University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., 1984

Professional Biography:

Dr. Reichert earned his doctorate in Professional Psychology and received additional clinical training at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. He has specialized in work with children, families and males in a clinical and consulting practice for the past 25 years. He created and served as Director of an urban youth development program, Peaceful Posse, sponsored by Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility, and currently serves as Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives, a research consortium of independent schools operating in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Reichert has published and spoken at conferences, schools and to community groups on subjects related to boys’ and girls’ lives and traumatic disruptions in children’s experience. He has consulted to and conducted training for many independent schools, is currently on staff at The Haverford School outside of Philadelphia.

Research Interests and Current Projects:

Current research interests include the impact of gender curricula on boys’ and girls’ lives, the social dimensions of learning, development of emotional intelligence and leadership, moral development, developmental trajectories toward violence and programming for democracy and sanctuary in schools. Dr. Reichert is especially interested in psychological programs, both in schools and in communities, which can contribute to lives of greater possibility and integrity for children. He has conducted two global studies of boys’ education which led to the publication of Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys (Wiley, 2010) and I Can Learn From You: Boys as Relational Learners (Harvard Educational Press, 2014) and serves as an advisor to international organizations committed to the full development of children’s human capacities. And, as father to two sons, Dr. Reichert is committed to supporting other parents of boys and has developed the workshop, Raising Sons 101.

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Peter Kuriloff, Ed.D.

Research Director


Antioch College, B.A., 1965
Harvard University, Ed.M., 1966
Harvard University, Ed.D., 1970

Professional Biography:

Dr. Kuriloff earned his doctorate in counseling psychology and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association in School Psychology. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania since 1970 and twice chaired the Psychology in Education Division. He moved to the Educational Leadership Division (now the Foundations and Practices of Education Division) in 1992. Besides teaching at GSE, Dr. Kuriloff is the senior advisor on Group Effectiveness and Career Development in Wharton’s Executive MBA program. Dr. Kuriloff has held a number of University-wide positions, including chair of the Grievance Commission, chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility and chair of the Faculty Senate.

Research Interests and Current Projects:

Dr. Kuriloff’s interests include gender dynamics (masculinities, femininities, and school gender “offers”) and their impact on the opportunities of children; minority retention in schools and colleges; and, in general, the reinvention of schools as more inclusive, open, generous, and effective places for the children who inhabit them. His research has involved the study of learning and teaching in small groups, the impact of legal reform on educational practice including the effectiveness of various kinds of dispute resolution in public schools, the nature of parent-child communications about human sexuality, the organizational and educational consequences of parental involvement in public schools, and most recently, the impact of various constructions of masculinity on boys’ learning and emotional development. In his capacity as research director of the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives, a coalition of independent schools, he fosters teacher-initiated research to discover and implement best practices for boys and girls.

Sharon M. Ravitch, Ph.D.

Research Co-Director


Harvard University, Ed.M. 1994
Harvard University, Ed.M. 1995
University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, Ph.D., 2000

Professional Biography:

Sharon M. Ravitch, Ph.D. is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education where she is Co-Director of the Center for Collaborative Research and Practice in Teacher Education. Ravitch teaches master’s and doctoral-level courses in qualitative research, evidence-based practice, ethnography, research development and instrument design, fieldwork and mentoring, as well as race, gender, and cultural issues at the Graduate School of Education and at The Wharton School of Business. Ravitch earned two master’s degrees from Harvard University, one in Human Development and Psychology and the other in Education. She earned her doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in an interdisciplinary program that combined anthropology, sociology, and education. Ravitch authored the book School Counseling Principles: Multiculturalism and Diversity (American School Counselor Association, 2006) and co-authored a book entitled Matters of Interpretation: Reciprocal Transformation in Applied Development Contexts for Youth (Jossey-Bass, 1998). Ravitch is currently finishing two co-authored books, one entitled Intercultural Understanding in an Age of Standards: An Interpretive Framework for Education and Professional Development and the other Writing as a Practice of Teaching: Narratives from First Year Teachers and is co-editing a book entitled Evidence Matters: The Penn Handbook for Evaluating Training and Development. She publishes, speaks and consults internationally in the areas of evidence-based practice, qualitative research, ethnography, practitioner and action research, and issues of gender, race, culture and equity in organizations. She is a Research Co-Director at the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives.

Research Interests and Current Projects:

Dr. Ravitch’s research has four main strands:

Practitioner research: Dr. Ravitch’s work in the area of practice-based inquiry centers on practice-based research that works from an applied ethnographic approach to engendering professional and institutional development and change. Her research focuses on the influences of practice-based inquiry on educational practice and leadership more broadly. Dr. Ravitch is particularly interested in how practitioners learn about inquiry and how they conceptualize and utilize research in relation to their daily practices, commitments, and goals. Dr. Ravitch is engaged in the teaching of and collaborative research with educational and business leaders across the United States as well as with systemic family therapists at the Central Integral de la Familia and the Universidad Cristiana Latino Americana in Quito, Ecuador.
International Social Justice Research that works from a participatory action research approach: Dr. Ravitch co-leads a multi-year participatory action research initiative that seeks to understand marginalized populations’ access to justice in four conflict-impacted countries: Afghanistan, Burundi, Colombia, and Liberia. She also engages in applied research in Ecuador and Nicaragua.
Teacher education: Dr. Ravitch is engaged in research that focuses on teacher education and professional development, specifically the ways in which issues of diversity, inequity, and the sociopolitical context of schooling shape urban teachers’ perspectives on students, their own worldviews, and their pedagogy as well as the teaching and learning that take place in and around teacher education courses. She is engaged in collaborative research focused on the role of reflective writing and inquiry groups on teachers’ processes of learning to teach.

Ethnography within and across disciplines: Dr. Ravitch is engaged in collaborative research on issues of methodology, representation, and media influence on the practices, conceptions, articulations, and uses of ethnography within and across disciplines.

Joseph Nelson, Ph.D.

Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Nelson is a visiting assistant professor of educational studies at Swarthmore College, where he teaches courses on gender and education, and adolescent identity development. His research agenda comprises of three interrelated strands: (1) Black boys’ development within early-childhood and elementary school contexts; (2) racial identity development among urban teacher candidates; and (3) participatory action research with K-12 schools.

Empirical projects in these domains have led to publications with Teachers College Record, Harvard Educational Review, and the Psychology of Men and Masculinity. He also guest co-edited (with Dr. Michael Reichert) a special issue on boys’ education with the Journal of Boyhood Studies.

Through recent postdoctoral fellowships with the Ford Foundation and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, Dr. Nelson is working on a book project centered on a single-sex middle school for immigrant boys of color in New York City. In his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he taught first-grade in a single-sex classroom of Black and Latino boys.

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Charlotte Jacobs

Associate Director for Innovation and Program Coordination

Charlotte E. Jacobs is a Ph.D. candidate in the Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education program at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Her research interests focus on issues related to the intersections of identity, race, and gender in education concerning students and teachers, and participatory action research methods. Charlotte holds a B.A. degree in Psychology and Spanish Literature & Language from Columbia University, and an M.Ed degree in Middle School Humanities from Lesley University. Before arriving in Philadelphia, Charlotte taught 7th grade Humanities at the University of Chicago Laboratory School in Chicago, IL. During this time, Charlotte also served on the faculty of the National Association of Independent School’s (NAIS) Student Diversity Leadership Conference. Charlotte is also a research associate for Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education.

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Nicole Mittenfelner Carl

Associate Director for Program Development and Assessment

Nicole Mittenfelner Carl is a doctoral candidate in the teaching, learning, and leadership division at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (PennGSE). She is Director of Impact Assessment for the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives (CSBGL) and is conducting a multisited, multiyear participatory evaluation of the center’s impact. Carl facilitates and teaches youth participatory action research and researches ways that schools can be more equitable and humane places as a part of her work with CSBGL. Carl is also a graduate research associate at PennGSE, where she is part of a research team that examines ways that teachers and parents can organize and act collectively as a means of educational problem solving. Carl has conducted qualitative research for over a decade. She has published articles about new teachers’ experiences with standardized curricula as well as about teacher activism and organizing. Her current research focus includes critical approaches to qualitative research, participatory action research, educational equity, urban education, and teacher education. Carl is a former middle school language arts and lead teacher in the School District of Philadelphia as well as a former mentor to and supervisor of first-year teachers. Carl’s research interests stem from her experiences as an educator, and she focuses her work on ways that students, parents, and teachers can work together to address educational inequities.

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Gen Liberatore

Research Associate, Impact Assessment Project

Gen Liberatore is a master’s student in Education, Culture, and Society at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Gen holds a B.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology from Columbia University and works in Admissions at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice. Gen’s current research interests broadly include public discourses of crisis regarding gender in schools and the reinscription of mythologies of childhood and of gender that both ground and spring from these narratives.

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