Penny Bishop

Penny Bishop

Dean and Professor

151 Shibles Hall
University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469-5766

Bio: Penny Bishop was named dean of the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development in June 2021. Previously, she had been a member of the University of Vermont faculty since 1998, where she was a professor of education and served as associate dean of the UVM College of Education and Social Services from 2014–20.

Bishop’s research, focusing on the provision of responsive learning environments for young adolescents, has received more than $13 million in external funding to improve education for this age group. She has co-authored seven books on education reform, the most recent being “The Successful Middle School: This We Believe” and “Personalized Learning in the Middle Grades.” She is executive advisor to the Middle Grades Education Research Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association, co-director of the Middle Grades Collaborative, former chair of the Research Advisory Board of the Association for Middle Level Education, and co-editor of the Middle Grades Review. She was founding director of the University of Vermont’s Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education from 2009–17.

Her numerous awards include John H. Lounsbury Award for Distinguished Achievement in Middle Level Education from the Association for Middle Level Education and the James P. Garvin Distinguished Service Award from the New England League of Middle Schools. Bishop has been both a middle school and secondary school teacher.

Ed.D in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, 1998, University of Vermont
M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, 1995, University of Vermont
B.A. in English, 1992, Norwich University

Sample publications


  • Bishop, P.A., & Harrison, L.M. (2021). The successful middle school: This we believe. Association for Middle Level Education.
  • Bishop, P.A., Downes, J.M., & Farber, K. (2019). Personalized learning in the middle grades. Harvard Education Press.
  • Caskey, M., Andrews, G., Bishop, P., Capraro, R., Roe, M., & Weiss, C. (2010). Research and resources in support of This We Believe.’ National Middle School Association.
  • Nash, R.J. & Bishop, P.A. (2010). Teaching adolescents religious literacy in a post-9/11 world. Information Age Publishing. (Winner of 2010 Critics Choice Book Award of the American Educational Studies Association).
  • Bishop, P., & Pflaum, S. (2005). Reaching and teaching middle school learners: Asking students to show us what works. Corwin Press.
  • Bishop, P., & Allen-Malley, M. (2004). The power of two: Partner teams in action. National Middle School Association.
  • Bergstrom, K., Bishop, P., & Carr, J. (Eds.). (2001). Living and learning in the middle grades: The dance continues. National Middle School Association.

Journal Articles and Chapters

  • Nagle, J.F., & Bishop, P.A. (2021, February). Students: The missing link in teacher professional development. Educational Leadership, ASCD.
  • Harrison, L.M., & Bishop, P.A. (2020). The evolving middle school concept: This we (still) believe. Current Issues in Middle Level Education, 26(1), 1-4.
  • Farber, K., LeGeros, L., Netcoh, S., & Bishop, P.A. (conditional acceptance). Teacher roles in personalized learning environments: New Zealand and the United States. Global Perspectives on Education Research, Volume II. World Education Research Association. Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Bishop, P., Downes, J., Netcoh, S, Farber, K., DeMink-Carthew, J., Stokes, T. & Mark, R. (in press, December 2020). Teacher roles in personalized learning environments. Elementary School Journal, 121(2).
  • Reyes, C., & Bishop, P. (2019). What visualizing strategic reading means for young adolescents. Journal of Visual Literacy, 38 (4).
  • Olofson, M., & Bishop, P. (2018). Crossing MGLS with the Middle Grades Research Agenda: A Guide for Researchers. Middle Grades Review 4(2), 1-24.
  • Olofson, M. Downes, J., Smith, C., LeGeros, L., & Bishop, P. (2018). An instrument to measure teacher practices to support personalized learning in the middle grades. Research in Middle Level Education Online, 41(7), 1-21.
  • Bishop, P., Downes, J., Netcoh, S., DeMink-Carthew, J., Farber, K., LeGeros, L., & Stokes, T. (2018). Middle grades teachers’ dispositions in a personalized learning context. In P. B. Howell, S. A. Faulkner, J. P. Jones, & J. Carpenter (Eds.), Preparing middle level educators for 21st century schools: Enduring beliefs, changing times, evolving practices. A volume in the handbook of research in middle level education. American Educational Research Association’s Middle Level Education Research Special Interest Group, pp 229-254.
  • Bishop, P., Falk-Ross, F., Andrews, G., Cronenberg, S., Moran, C., & Weiler, C. (2018). Digital technologies in the middle grades: A review of research. In S. B. Mertens & M. M. Caskey (Eds.), Literature reviews in support of the Middle Level Education Research Agenda. Volume XI in the handbook of research in middle level education. American Educational Research Association’s Middle Level Education Research Special Interest Group.
  • Farber, K., & Bishop, P. (2018). Service learning in the middle grades: Learning by doing and caring. Research in Middle Level Education Online, 41(2), 1-15.

Follow Penny on Twitter: @pennybishop