Joan Packer Isenberg is Professor Emerita of Education at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where she also served as an Associate Dean in the College of Education and Human Development. As a Mason faculty member, she received two distinguished awards for teaching excellence and was a finalist for the Virginia State Council of Higher Education teaching excellence award. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Wheelock College in Boston, MA., and her doctorate in elementary education from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.
Professor Isenberg served as Director of the Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning Program at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. from 1999-2003. During her tenure at George Mason University she taught graduate courses in teacher education, child development, curriculum development, and arts integration and undergraduate courses in child development, reading methods, and the creative arts. Isenberg has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 50 journal articles. Her research interests are in teachers' professional development, arts integration, and early childhood curriculum.
She has been a Visiting Scholar for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), where she led higher education initiatives and the reform of advanced master's degrees for practicing teachers, and has served on the NCATE Board of Examiners, as President and in other elected offices of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE), and in offices of the Metro Area Branch of the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI).
She was the 2006 recipient of the Pearson/Allyn and Bacon Outstanding Early Childhood Teacher Educator Award and also received the Presidential Leadership Award from Wheelock College. Isenberg currently serves as co-editor of the Educating the Young Child Series published by Springer and is Affiliate Faculty for Union Institute & University in the Doctorate of Education Program.
Before joining the Mason faculty, Dr. Isenberg taught young children, held administrative positions in both public and private school settings, and worked as the educational liaison for a regional theater. Isenberg has two married daughters and three grandchildren. For relaxation, she plays bridge and Mah Jong, spends time with her grandchildren, and supports local cultural arts programs.