Faculty Profile: Dr. Peggy Thelen
Dr. Peggy Thelen wanted to be a teacher since she was a young girl, but she did not take a direct route to the classroom. As an undergraduate, the assistant professor of education earned a degree in business administration. After working in the business field for many years, she went back to college, earning a bachelor's degree in elementary education.
Thelen also earned a Master of Arts degree in elementary administration. After substitute teaching in elementary and middle school classrooms, and teaching preschool for many years, Thelen earned a doctorate from Michigan State University in family and child ecology.
Thelen teaches human growth and development, as well as directing and teaching courses in the early childhood education program. In addition, Thelen supervises secondary, elementary and early childhood student teachers.
Thelen’s research and educational interests include early childhood education, notably literacy development, and human growth and development across the lifespan.
Her recent passion is incorporating service learning into her classes, which gives education students experiences with families and agencies in local communities.
“There is no substitute for working with real children, parents, schools and agencies," Thelen says. "These experiences enhance preservice teacher learning beyond classroom and book learning.”