Dr. Puckett teaches courses and seminars in American education reform, history, policy, and practice; education and the American city; and John Dewey. He served as associate dean of Penn GSE from 1998–2004 and again in 2006–2007. Dr. Puckett chaired the Educational Leadership Division from 1999–2000 and the Education Policy Division (EPD) from 2007–11. He also served on the School’s Executive Committee for eleven years. Dr. Puckett’s background includes six years of teaching and administrative work in public and private secondary schools in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. He holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before coming to Penn in 1987, Dr. Puckett was director of research and development for REAL Enterprises, a non-profit organization that helped catalyze school-based economic development projects in the rural South.
At Penn, Dr. Puckett has been actively involved in building partnerships with West Philadelphia schools. From 1988–1992, he worked with Ira Harkavy to develop the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Community Partnerships, which is now called the Netter Center. In conjunction with the Netter Center and the School of Arts and Sciences’ Urban Studies Program, he teaches undergraduate academically-based community service seminars that focus on school and neighborhood improvement projects in West Philadelphia. He has co-authored a number of journal articles and book chapters with faculty affiliated with the Netter Center, advancing the development of university-assisted community schools and academically-based community service.