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Dr. Kristien Zenkov
PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Division Director, Division of Elementary, Literacy, and Secondary Education
Academic Program Coordinator, Secondary Education 6-12
Teaching and Teacher Education

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Zenkov

Phone: (703) 993-5413
Fax: (703) 993-5300
Email: kzenkov (

Kristien Zenkov's website

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Thompson Hall 1808
4400 University Dr.
MS 4B3
Fairfax, VA 22030


Kristien Zenkov is a professor of teacher education and literacy education and the Secondary Education (SEED) Program Coodinator at George Mason University and the co-director of the "Through Students Eyes" project, which asks diverse high school and middle school youth to document with photographs and writing what they believe are the purposes of school. He received his PhD in Teacher Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was a faculty member at Cleveland State University before coming to George Mason. He has published more than one hundred fifty articles and book chapters and seven books concerning urban teacher education, social justice education, Professional Development Schools, language arts pedagogy, and curriculum standards in English Journal, Visual Studies, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Educational Action Research, Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research, and School-Practitioner Quarterly. While at Cleveland State Dr. Zenkov served as the Director of the Master of Urban Secondary Teaching (MUST) Program—an award-winning urban and social justice focused masters licensure option—and coordinated partnerships with high schools in four urban school districts. He continues his professional development schools efforts at George Mason through partnerships with Alexandria, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, and Manassas schools. Dr. Zenkov and his colleagues have been awarded grants (totaling nearly $2 million) from private foundations and the US Department of Education in support of the "Through Students Eyes" (TSE) project and numerous other urban teacher education, conflict resolution, and teacher mentoring studies and programs. Most recently he has conducted TSE with youth in Sierra Leone, Haiti, and Iraq. He has taught language arts and drama in city high schools across the country, and while at Cleveland State continued to co-teach a 10th grade English class with Jim Harmon. Dr. Zenkov is the former editor of "School-University Partnerships," the current Treasurer of the National Association for Professional Development Schools.

Research Interests

Literacy/English education, urban teacher education, social justice and education, visually-based research methods, teacher activism, international education, school/university partnerships and Professional Development Schools, teacher research

Recent Publications

Recent Peer-Reviewed Articles

Note: Publications with * denote manuscripts co-authored with teachers and masters/doctoral students

*Pytash, K., Lague, M., & Zenkov, K. (under review). “Boundary-spanners” in literacy education: Roles, activities, supports, constraints, and futures. School-University Partnerships.


*Zenkov, K. & Pytash, K. (2022). A solution to teacher educators’ existential crisis? Critical, project-based clinical experiences. Teacher Education Quarterly.


Glaser, H., Helmsing, M., Zenkov, K., & Parker, A. (2021). Adding the “T” to the “PCK” in clinical experiences: How technology shaped our pandemic teacher education pedagogies and partnerships. The New Educator.


*Zenkov, K., Helmsing, M., Parker, A., Glaser, H., & Bean, A., (2021). Portraits of the teacher educator as a weary pedagogue: Narrating our way to a post-pandemic vision of educator preparation. The Teacher Educators’ Journal, 21(14), 106-125.


*Parker, A.K., Zenkov, K., & Glaser, H. (2021). Preparing school-based teacher educators: Mentor teachers’ perceptions of mentoring and mentor training. Peabody Journal of Education, 96(1), 65-75.


Zenkov, K., Lague, M., & Azevedo, P.C. (2020). SEED “Seeds,” “Stories of Injustice,” and the equity ideals of our partnerships: A program in formation and pre-/in-service teachers as bridges to equity. School-University Partnerships, 13(3), 5-21.

Zenkov, K., Dennis, D., & Parker, A.K. (Fall, 2019). “Bless your heart,” BBQ, and clinical practitioners as neologists: Developing a lexicon for clinical practice. School-University Partnerships.


Parker, A. K., Zenkov, K., & Dennis, D.V. (2019). Exploring the lexicon or lack thereof in clinical teacher preparation. Action in Teacher Education, 41(3), 249-264. DOI: 10.1080/01626620.2019.1600601

Parsons, S., Parker, A. K., Zenkov, K., Erbrecht, A., Kraft, J., & Slattery, C. (Spring, 2018). School-university partnerships as a means to recruiting and retaining effective teachers. PDS Partners, 13(4), 11-13.

Zenkov, K., Parker, A.K., Parsons, S., Stunkard, C., & Kiefer-Kennedy, M. (Winter, 2018). A snapshot of the Clinical Practice Commission’s report on clinical teacher preparation. PDS Partners, 13(3), 1, 3-4.

Recent Invited and Editorial-Reviewed Articles

American Association of Colleges for teacher Education. (2018). A pivot toward clinical practice, its lexicon, and the renewal of educator preparation: A report of the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission. Washington D.C.: Authors.

Pytash, K., & Zenkov, K. (2018). Introduction to the guest-edited issue: Critical, project-based clinical experiences in literacy contexts. The New Educator, 14(3), 185-191.

*Zenkov, K., Taylor, L., Angle, D., & Nzita, A.N. (2016). Writing our identities together. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 60(3), 345–348. doi: 10.1002/jaal.593

Zenkov, K., & Shiveley, J. (2016). What is a PDS?. Special Online Issue of School-University Partnerships: The Official Journal of the National Association for Professional Development Schools: “What is a PDS?”. Waco, TX: National Association for Professional Development Schools.

*Zenkov, K., & Newman K. (2016). Our literacies in/justice. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 60(2), 217–220. Doi: 10.1002/jaal.579

*Zenkov, K., Bertrand, S., Clark, E., Taylor, L., Newman, K., Sciarrino S., von Topel K., Angle, D., Pellegrino, A. (2016). Partnership in/as/for literacies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 60(1), 87–90 Doi: 10.1002/jaal.563

*Bertrand, S., Zenkov, K., & Clark, E. (April, 2016). Review of Best practices in mentoring for teacher and leader development. Teachers’ College Record, Date Published: April 12, 2016. ID Number: 19851, Date Accessed: 6/14/2016.

*Zenkov, K., Taylor, L., & Harmon, J. (2015). Boundary- and border-spanning collaborations of educators and youths: Challenging our literacy pedagogies and content. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. doi: 10.1002/jaal.469.

Parsons, S. A., Parker, A. K., & Zenkov, K. (2015, September). Using Edthena in PDS partnership work. Professional Development School Research/AERA SIG Newsletter, 2-3.

*Zenkov, K., Bell, A., Harmon, J., Ewaida, M., Fell, M. (2011). Seeing our city students and school: Using photography to engage diverse youth with our English classes. English Education, 43(4), 369-389.

Zenkov, K. (2011). Hybrid roles, growing gaps, new organizations, and teacher assessment: The promises, potentials, and problematics of university partnerships for preparing teachers. Teacher Education and Practice, 23(2)

*Zenkov, K., Harmon, J., Tompkins, E., van Lier, P. (Spring/Summer, 2009). Through students’ eyes: Seeing city youths’ perspectives on the purposes of, supports for, and impediments to literacy practices. Journal of Reading Education, 34(3), 15-22.

*Marquez-Zenkov, K., Harmon, J., van Lier, P. & Marquez-Zenkov, M. (2008). Picture this: Seeing diverse city students’ ideas about schools’ purposes, impediments, and supports. Multicultural Perspectives, 10(3), 162-166.

Recent Book Chapters

Note: Publications with * denote manuscripts co-authored with teachers and masters/doctoral students

*Johnson, R.D., Parsons, S.A., Parker, A.K., Zenkov, K., Dennis, D., del Prado Hill, P., & Garas-York, K. (2021). The case for PDS as an exemplary model of school-university partnerships. In (P. Chandler & L. Barron, Eds.) Rethinking School-University Partnerships: A New Way Forward, pp. 291-306.

*Zenkov, K., Parker, A.K., & Glaser, H. (2020). Valuing the expertise of school-based teacher educators in school-university partnerships: Creating a sustainable model of mentor teacher preparation. In Effective Clinical Practice: Preparing Mentor Teachers and University-Based Educators to Support Teacher Candidate Learning and Development (P.E. Bernhardt, T. Conway, G. Richardson, Eds.), pp. 1-14.

*Zenkov, K., Lague, M., & Azevedo, P.C. (2020). SEED “Seeds,” “Stories of Injustice,” and the ideals of our profession: A program in formation and pre-service teachers as bridges to equity. In The NAPDS Nine Essentials in Action: Cases of Professional Development Schools (E. Garin & R.W. Burns, Eds.), pp. 249-255.

*Zenkov, K., Taylor, L., Pytash, K., Lague, M., & Ayers, A. (2020). Critical, project-based clinical experiences: Formalizing the roles of university- and school-based teacher educators. In The NAPDS Nine Essentials in Action: Cases of Professional Development Schools (E. Garin & R.W. Burns, Eds.), pp. 198-202.

Zenkov, K. & Pytash, K. (2018). Critical, project-based clinical experiences: Their origins and their elements. In K. Zenkov & K. Pytash (Eds.), Clinical experiences in teacher education: Critical, project-based experiences in diverse classrooms (pp. 1-17). New York: Routledge.

Zenkov, K., Parsons, S., Parker, A.K., Brown, E.L., Groth, L., Pytash, K., & Pellegrino, A. (2018). From collaborative inquiry to critical, project-based clinical experiences: Partnership pathways to field-based teacher education. In T. Hodges & A. Baum (Eds.), Handbook of field-based teacher education. Hershey, PA: IGI.

Parker, A.K., Zenkov, K., & Parsons, S. (2018). Purposeful preparation for roles in boundary-spanning clinical teacher preparation. In D. Hoppey, D. Yendol-Hoppey, & N. Dana (Eds.), Preparing the next generation of teacher educators. Charlotte, NC: IAP

Zenkov, K., Parker, A.K., Parsons, S., Pellegrino, A., & Pytash, K. (2017). From project-based clinical experiences to collaborative inquiries: Pathways to Professional Development Schools. In J. Ferrara, J. Nath, I. Guadarrama, & R. Beebe (Eds.), Expanding opportunities to link research and clinical practice: A volume in Research in Professional Development Schools (pp. 9-33). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

*Parker, A., & Zenkov, K. (2017). Preface. In D. Yendol-Hoppey and D. Hoppey (Eds.), Working together: Enhancing urban educator quality through partnerships. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

*Corrigan, D., Weber, E., Beebe, R. S., Zenkov, K., & Semple, A. (2017). Continued effort and success: Urban impact achieved through a Professional Development School program. In D. Yendol-Hoppey and D. Hoppey (Eds.), Working together: Enhancing urban educator quality through partnerships. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

*Zenkov, K., Taylor, L., & Harmon, J. (2017). Diverse youth, new teachers, and “picturing” literacy: Using photovoice to “partner” our way to adolescents’ perspectives on literacy. In K.A. Hinchman & D.A. Appleman (Eds.), Adolescent literacies: A handbook of practice-based research (pp. 148-168). New York: Guilford.


Cushman, K., Zenkov, K., & Call-Cummings, M. (2021). New Fires in Our Lives: Advice for Teachers from High School Students. New Press.

Zenkov, K., & Pytash, K. (2018). Critical, project-based experiences in teacher preparation: Classroom interventions, teacher training and development, boundary-spanning roles, and collaborative scholarship. New York: Routledge.

*Zenkov, K., & Harmon, J. (2016). Through students’ eyes: Writing and photography for success in school. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Richards, J.C., & Zenkov, K. (Eds.) (2015). Social justice, the Common Core, and closing the instructional gap: Empowering diverse learners and their teachers. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Gorski, P. & Zenkov, K. (Eds.) (2014). The big lies of education reform. New York: Routledge.

Zenkov, K., Corrigan, D. & Beebe, R. (Eds.). (2013). Professional development schools and social justice: Schools and universities partnering to make a difference. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Gorski, P., Zenkov, K., Osei-Kofi, N., & Sapp, J. (Eds.). (2012). Cultivating social justice teachers: How teacher educators have helped students overcome cognitive bottlenecks and learn critical social justice concepts. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Navarro, V. & Marquez-Zenkov, K. (Eds.) (2005). Staying connected: Re-framing the contours of partnership work in education with PDS standards. Milwaukee, WI: Urban Network to Improve Teacher Education.

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