Advisory Board:

Mirian Acosta-Sing
Beverly Falk
Alison Burns Ferro
Ravi Kalia

James Shields
Ellen Smiley
Laura Winter
Arlene Zimny



Center for School Development Staff

Norman Shapiro
, Director

Rhoda Peltzer, Division Director

Sheila Gersh, Division Director

CSD Director:


Norman Shapiro, Ph.D., Director

Dr. Norman Shapiro is Professor Emeritus at the School of Education of the City College of New York and currently Director of the Center for School Development. He received the Ph.D. from New York University in Educational Psychology in 1970 and began his career at City College as a research assistant in 1965. During his tenure at the college he has served as the Chair of the Social and Psychological Foundations Department and taught courses in that department including The Psychology of Learning, Tests and Measurements and Educational Research, where he mentored numerous students through their individual research projects.

Professor Shapiro has directed major grants since 1970 and the Urban/Rural School Development Program, where he developed the idea for School-Centered Teacher Education. In a three-year period, some 150 graduate courses were developed and tailored to the needs of teachers in three schools in the South Bronx. In the mid-seventies, with support from the State Education Department, he created the Instructional Design Center, which was the centerpiece for a 'product/action' graduate program for adult educators. All of the courses in the program had product/action outcomes designed to improve education at the teachers' sites. Between 1978 and 1986, Professor Shapiro became the Director of Continuing Education for the College, where he initiated both free and fee-based adult education programs.

From 1986 through 1995, Professor Shapiro returned to the School of Education and became deeply involved in school reform and school improvement. Significant grants enabled him to create the Mini-College for at-risk high school students and to develop houses in three large New York City high schools. The latter approach led to the Consortium for School Development in collaboration with the principals of these high schools. Two chapters in Staying In School: Partnerships for Educational Change (Brookes, 1995) describe much of this work. From the 1990s to the present day, his work has involved finding grant support to help integrate technology into the courses and programs of the School of Education as well as in the public schools of New York City. In the mid-nineties the Center for School Development was created and CultureQuest has become the Center's most important project. We hope to be able to bring CultureQuest to other colleges, teacher education programs and k-12 schools throughout the country and around the world.

email Norman at

Other staff:

Sheila Gersh, Ed.D., Divison Director

Dr. Sheila Offman Gersh is the Director of Technology and International Projects for the Center for School Development, School of Education at the City College of the City University of New York. For the past 19 years she has directed a variety of instructional technology projects that engage teachers and students in inquiry-based, collaborative technology-rich projects. She teaches graduate courses/workshops focusing on integrating technology into classroom instruction and designs and delivers a variety of professional development opportunities for teachers. She has taught CultureQuest workshops and courses since the project began for teachers locally, nationally and internationally . Dr. Gersh has also taught courses online and has used a variety of delivery tools for such instruction. She has created an educational website that is available to any teacher around the globe.

Dr. Gersh is expert in the uses of technology for education having both presented keynote sessions and workshops at many local, national and international conferences and authored a number of journal articles in this area, both, in the US and abroad. She has done extensive training for teachers, administrators, parents and teacher-educators in technology, primarily the Internet, and its applications to education She has also been invited to do this work as well as CultureQuest workshops in Finland, Italy, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Austria, Dominican Republic, and India. Dr. Gersh has also had article published in the US and abroad related to instructional technology.

(She has a Bachelors Degree from City College of the City University of New York, a Masters Degree from Hunter College of the City University of New York and a Doctorate from New York University) Contact: (212) 650-5792

email Sheila at

Rhoda Peltzer , Division Director

Ms. Peltzer, a former New York City High School teacher, has worked with the Center for School Development team for the last 21 years as Division Director. She has extensive experience in program development, program management and curriculum and materials development. She has coordinated or co-directed many of the Center's programs in the areas of school development, school reform and restructuring, educational technology and instructional integration. She has been involved in the Center for School Development's professional development institutes, workshops and graduate courses that have been offered at local, national and international sites. She was a member of the team that developed the concept for CultureQuest and has been actively involved in its expansion. In her continuing participation in the development and implementation of the many varied and ongoing Center projects, she has worked closely with college faculty, school administrators, teachers, and students. Ms. Peltzer has a Bachelors Degree from the City College of the City University of New York, and a Masters Degree from Baruch College of the City University of New York.

email Rhoda at

Consortium Members:

Jeane Simon - Chile,
Jacqueline Lora Gomez - Dominican Republic
Bharat Thakur - India,
Esther Feffer - Israel,
Kyoko Murikami - Japan,
Ursala Vellego Morero - Spain
Ulf Akerberg - Sweden

In the U.S.:

Amy Hasty - Alaska
David Stoloff - Connecticut,
Kim McCord - Kansas,
Robert Leneway - Michigan,
Sheila Gersh - New York,
Lisa Schonberger - Pennsylvania,
Joyce Morris - Vermont
Anne Pierce - Virginia.