Professor Ken Peterson is this year’s winner of Portland State University’s George C. Hoffman award for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. The Hoffmann Award is given annually to a PSU faculty member in recognition of distinguished contributions to the university in instruction, university service, and scholarship. A committee of previous recipients selected Dr. Peterson for his work performed in the “spirit of humanism, civility, and collegiality with particular dedication to students and loyalty to the University.”
Dr. Peterson is a professor of curriculum and instruction in the GSE and a cohort leader in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP). Prior to his position at PSU, he taught at the schools of education at the University of California, Berkeley and University of Utah. He was a former classroom teacher, and has over 35 years of experience in educating new teachers and conducting staff development for experienced educators.
Enthusiastic colleagues in the GSE collaborated to nominate Dr. Peterson for the Hoffman award. According to Professor Ron Narode, “I can honestly say that there is no member of our department who has done more for his colleagues and for our students than Ken has. I am not exaggerating when I state that students revere him for his teaching.”
That sentiment is echoed by the many students Dr. Peterson has coached over the years. In preparing the application, the committee reviewed hundreds of testimonials from teachers who appreciated the boost Dr. Peterson gave them. A student from his Classroom Management course wrote:
“I do not have the words to express my gratitude to you. This class has been a ray of sunshine for me this term. You, and the techniques you teach, are exactly why I want to be a teacher. I only hope I can be 1/5 of the teacher you are.”
Dr. Peterson has conducted research in teacher evaluation for more than 25 years. He was principal investigator for three U.S. Department of Education grants that studied innovative teacher evaluation for school district career ladder systems. Dr. Peterson has been a consultant or presenter to more than 65 school districts and state- and national-level educational organizations. He is a prolific scholar who has written three books and dozens of articles on teacher evaluation. He is currently writing about classroom communication and management and evaluation of science education projects for the University of California, Davis.