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Dr. Charlotte E. Jacobs, Ph.D


Charlotte E. Jacobs earned her Ph.D. 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. To this end, Charlotte recently co-founded the EnGenderED Research Collaborative, a space for research, program development, and practitioner training.

As a co-director for the Independent School Teaching Residency program (ISTR) at Penn GSE, Charlotte coordinates and designs the day school strand of this residency-based collaborative teacher education program. Dr. Jacobs also teaches a course on adolescent development in the Urban Teaching Residency program (UTR) and Urban Teaching Apprenticeship program, (UTAP) at Penn GSE. 

Charlotte earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish Literature & Language from Columbia University and a master’s degree in Education focusing on middle school humanities from Lesley University and the Shady Hill Teacher Training Course located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Charlotte taught seventh grade humanities at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Chicago, Illinois. Charlotte is also the former Executive Director of the Girls Justice League, a girls' rights non-profit organization in Philadelphia. 

Research Interests

Dr. Jacobs’ research interests focus on issues of identity development and gender in education concerning adolescent girls of color, teacher education and diversity, and youth participatory action research. To this end, Dr. Jacobs has recently co-authored the book Teaching Girls: How Teachers and Parents Can Reach Their Brains and Hearts (Rowman & Littlefield) with Penn GSE professor Dr. Peter Kuriloff and Penn GSE alum Dr. Shannon Andrus. The book focuses on how schools can support the development and educational needs of girls by adopting a gender conscious perspective. Dr. Jacobs has also co-authored and solo-authored journal articles that focus on the development of adolescent girls of color at the intersection of race, gender, and socioeconomic status. For these articles, Dr. Jacobs drew on her dissertation research, which focused on the schooling experiences of high school-aged Black girls who attend elite independent schools.

In addition to her role with the Independent School Teaching Residency program, Dr. Jacobs consults with schools about diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, and also serves as the executive director of the Girls Justice League, a non-profit organization supporting the social, educational, and economic rights of girls in Philadelphia.

Areas of Expertise

Adolescent Development

Qualitative Research Methods

Independent School Education

Multicultural Education

Gender and Education

Teacher Education

Honors and Awards

Research Support from the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools. Charlottesville, VA

for Exploring the Experiences of Girls of Color in Girls’ Schools Pilot Study. (2019)

Trustees’ Council of Penn Women Faculty Research Fellowship

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

for Exploring the Experiences of Girls of Color in Girls’ Schools Pilot Study. (2019)

Generocity’s 2018 Leadership List: Women in Leadership.

Honorable Distinction for Dissertation and Oral Defense

The Development of Black Girl Critical Literacies of Race, Gender, and Class in Independent Schools: Awareness, Agency, and Emotion (2017)

Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship,

honorable mention (2015)

Fontaine Society Summer Research Grant

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. (2014)

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