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Teachers Institute of Philadelphia

The Teachers Institute of Philadelphia (TIP) provides academic professional development seminars to Philadelphia public school teachers at the University of Pennsylvania.

"I am in awe of our professor and our group of students who have made invaluable contributions to our poetry selections. It is truly a pleasure to attend this class at the end of a long school day. Thank you, Dr. Lee of TIP, for this great opportunity. I intend to apply much of what I am learning to my curriculum writing project!” -- High school Spanish teacher

TIP Fellow Bonnee Breese Receives the Overbrook High School Legacy Award

on May 5, 2017 - 21:52

Longtime TIP and Yale National Initiative Fellow Bonnee Breese has been awarded the Overbrook High School Legacy Award. Breese taught English for many years at Overbrook, and also received the Lindback and Teachers as Heroes awards for her outstanding contributions to teaching. She currently teaches at Science Leadership Academy/Beeber. Congratulations Bonnee!

TIP Fellow Kathleen Radebaugh Receives Billy Penn Who's Next: Education Honor

on May 5, 2017 - 21:23

We congratulate longtime TIP Fellow and Yale National Initiative Fellow Kathleen Radebaugh, who was recognized by Billy Penn as one of "14 people leading the charge in Philadelphia schools." Radebaugh, who teaches English at the H. C. Lea School, was praised for her contributions to extracurricular activities as well as to strengthening academic standards in her school. Read more here.


TIP Fellow Klint Kanopka Presents Innovative STEM Curriculum at the April 29, 2017 Teacher Symposium

on December 7, 2016 - 14:48

Saturday, April 29 | 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Lincoln High School | 3201 Ryan Ave

Teachers Institute of Philadelphia (TIP) Fellow Klint Kanopka will present on argumentation in science classes at the School District of Philadelphia Teacher Symposium, which will take place on April 29, 2017, 11:30 – 1:30 PM at Lincoln High School. At this event, more than 100 educators from the School District of Philadelphia and partner organizations will present on work deemed particularly useful for District educators. Kanopka, who has been a Fellow with TIP multiple times, will be analyzing the components of a scientific argument and positing a model for consensus building in secondary science classrooms. Kanopka currently teaches physics at the Academy at Palumbo, where he founded a MakerSpace, replete with tools, electronics, and a 3D printer, for students to “take their understanding of mechanics and circuits out of their notebooks and into reality.” Visit the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia website for information about applying to the program and for an archive of Fellows’ curriculum units, including Kanopka’s Conservation: The Thermodynamics of Sustainability and Planetary Motion from the Ground Up.

2017 Seminar Topics

on November 17, 2016 - 19:41

TIP is pleased to announce the seminar offerings for the 2017 program year:

A Survey of Contemplative Practices across the World’s Religions

Deven Patel, Professor of South Asia Studies; Religious Studies; and Comparative Literature

Is There Any Life in the Worlds Beyond Our Own? (meets on Wednesdays)

Masao Sako, Professor of Physics & Astronomy

That’s My Song!: Musical Genre as Social Contract (meets on Wednesdays)

Guthrie Ramsey, Professor of Music

What is the Earth Made of?

Reto Gieré, Professor of Earth & Environmental Science

Seminar descriptions can be viewed here.

TIP seminars are open to K-12 teachers in School District of Philadelphia-managed schools. Applications are due on Wednesday, December 14 by 5pm. Seminars begin on Tuesday, January 17 and meet in two-hour weekly sessions until May. Unless otherwise noted, seminars meet on Tuesdays from 4:30-6:30pm. Enrollment is limited. For more information, call 215-746-6176 or email

TIP Welcomes New Director

on November 3, 2016 - 16:04

On November 1, 2016, Alan J. Lee retired as the Director of the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia. A joint committee of University of Pennsylvania scholars and School District of Philadelphia teachers conducted a search process that selected Edward M. Epstein to be his successor.

Edward Epstein assumes the Director role after five years as Associate Director of Education and Institutional Relations at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Previously, he was Executive Director of the University City Arts League, where he expanded class offerings to serve a growing youth audience. Prior to the Arts League, Mr. Epstein founded the 40th Street Artist-in-Residence program (AIR) which offers studio space to West Philadelphia artists in exchange for service to the community. As many AIR residents chose to undertake a service project in local public schools, he developed strong relationships with the School District of Philadelphia during this time. Mr. Epstein knows TIP well, having led popular and well-regarded seminars in each of the TIP’s first three years. He has also been a member of TIP’s University Advisory Committee.

Dr. Lee led the Teachers Institute for twelve years, first as the Planning Director in 2005, and starting in 2006 as the founding director through TIP’s first eleven program years. Previously, Dr. Lee spent many years teaching history, social studies, and government in the School District of Philadelphia, and also served as a lecturer in Penn’s Political Science Department.

Please welcome Edward Epstein as he leads TIP into its next chapter of providing extraordinary professional development for School District of Philadelphia teachers!