Gerald K. LeTendre

LeTendre Gerald K.

Short Biography & Significant Contribution

Dr. Gerald K. LeTendre is a Professor of Education and International Affairs in the Educational Policy Studies Department at Pennsylvania State University, where he is chair of his department. US News and World Report ranked this program #10 of its kind in 2012. He has developed and taught a multitude of courses for Penn State, including Anthropology of Education, Ethnography of Schooling, and Advanced Qualitative Methods.

He completed his undergraduate work in Sociology at Harvard and his graduate work in both Sociology and Education at Stanford. LeTendre's many distinctions include: receiving a Rockefeller Fellowship for work with Tibetan refugees, being awarded a Japan Foundation Fellowship, Johann Jacobs Young Scholar Award, Spencer Post-Doctoral Fellowship and becoming a Fulbright Senior Scholar.

Themes and issues in his work include school use of tracking, national education policy, world culture, institutionalization of education and youth and education studies. Currently, LeTendre is studying the roles of teachers in the workplace as well as prevention programs. Japan, Germany and the United States serve as common comparative cases in his studies although his research just as often spans the globe. LeTendre's accessible works are marked by their discussion of trends in global education and how these trends will affect education in the future. The questions and discussions present in each piece last long after the end of the reading.

Current Review and Editorial Work: 
Editor, American Journal of Education
Assistant Editor, Comparative Educational Review
Advisory Board, Child Resource Network

Educational Background

Ph.D. - Education, Stanford University (1994)
M.A. - Sociology, Stanford University (1992)
B.A. - Sociology, Harvard University (1983)

Professional Background

2008 - present: Head, Department of Education Policy Studies, Pennsylvania State University
2007 - present: Professor, Education and International Affairs, Pennsylvania State University 
2004 - 2007: Professor-in-Charge, Educational Theory and Policy Program, Pennsylvania State University 
2000 - 2003: Chair, Comparative and International Education Program, Pennsylvania State University
2000 - 2006: Associate Professor, Education Policy Studies, Pennsylvania State University
1997 - 2000: Assistant Professor, Education Policy Studies, Pennsylvania State University 
1994 - 1997: Assistant Professor, Department of Elementary Education, University of Georgia 
1994 - 1996: Primary Researcher, Third Int'l Math-Science Study, Nat'l Center for Education Statistics 

Affiliations (associations, organizations, institutions)

American Educational Research Association (1990 - present) 
Advisory Board, International Studies SIG (1998 - 2001)
American Sociological Association (1993 - 2003)
Comparative and International Education Society (1994 - 2003, 2004 - present)

Selected Publications


Gordon, J., Fujita, H., Kariya, K., & LeTendre, G. (Eds.). (2009). Challenges to Japanese education. New York: Teachers College Press & Tokyo: Seori-shobo.

Akiba, M. & LeTendre, G. (2009). Improving teacher quality: The U.S. teacher workforce in a global context. New York: Teachers College Press.

Baker, D. & LeTendre, G. (2005). National differences, global similarities: World culture and the future of schooling. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Fukuzawa, R., & LeTendre, G. (2001). The intense years: Early adolescence in Japan. New York: RoutledgeFalmer Press

LeTendre, G. (2000). Learning to be adolescent: Growing up in U.S. and Japanese middle schools. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

LeTendre, G. (Ed.). (1999). Competitor or ally: Japan's role in American educational debates. New York: Falmer Press.

Rohlen, T., & LeTendre, G. (Eds.). (1996). Teaching and learning in Japan. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Refereed Journal Articles:

Akiba, M., LeTendre, G. K., & Scribner, J. P. (2007). Teacher quality, opportunity gap, and national achievement in 46 countries. Educational Researcher, 36(7), 369-387.

Bon, S. C., Faircloth, S.C., & LeTendre, G. (2006). The school violence dilemma: Protecting the rights of students with disabilities while maintaining teachers' sense of safety in schools. Journal of Disability and Policy Studies, 17(3), 148-157.

LeTendre, G., Gonzalez, R. G., & Nomi, T. (2006). Feeding the elite: The evolution of elite pathways from star high schools to elite universities. Higher Education Policy, 19, 7-30.

LeTendre, G., Hofer, B., & Shimizu, H. (2003). What is tracking? Cultural expectations in the U.S., Germany and Japan. American Educational Research Journal, 40(1), 43- 90.

Akiba, M., LeTendre, G., Baker, D., & Goesling, B. (2002). Student victimization: National and school system effects on school violence in 37 nations. American Educational Research Journal, 39(4), 829-854.

Baker, D., Goesling, B., & LeTendre, G. (2002). Socio-economic status, school quality, and national economic development: A cross-national analysis of the "Heyneman-Loxley Effect" on mathematics and science achievement. Comparative Education Review, 46(3), 291-312.

LeTendre, G., Baker, D., Akiba, M., Goesling, B., & Wiseman, A. (2001). Teacher's work: Institutional isomorphism and cultural variation in the U.S., Germany, and Japan. Educational Researcher, 30(6): 3-16. [Reprinted in Winter 2002 edition of MENSA Research Journal, 33(1), 46-72].


Created: 11/20/2012

Updated: 12/4/2012

Contributed By: Tiffany R. Kelley