Giselle O. Martin-Kniep


Giselle Martin-Kniep is an educator and facilitator of adult learning who believes that sustainable school improvement is an aspiration worth pursuing. Giselle has a strong background in organizational change and has several graduate degrees from Stanford University. She has worked with thousands of schools nationally and internationally in the areas of curriculum and assessment, neuroleadership, systems thinking and strategic planning.

Giselle has published multiple articles, chapters, and books including Why am I doing this?; Becoming a Better Teacher; Capturing the Wisdom of Practice; Developing Learning Communities Through Teacher Expertise; Communities that Learn, Lead and Last; and Changing the Way You Teach, Improving the Way Students Learn.

Giselle’s most recent interests lie around determining best leverage points for sustainable school improvement, and more specifically around developing and aligning outcomes and measures used in schools.  She can be reached at


Becoming a Better Teacher: Eight Innovations that Work

Becoming a Better Teacher: Eight Innovations that Work provides K-12 educators with key information about proven, effective, teaching and learning tools. These specific innovations were selected because, as a whole, they foster a student-centered classroom environment that is both equitable and rigorous.

Changing the way you teach, Improving the way students learn

Co-written with Joanne Picone-Zocchia, this book describes a framework for effective teaching that can be applied to any subject area and grade level. A detailed review of the structures, processes, and content of effective teaching provides practical tips that can be used right away, and the stories that are woven throughout directly and explicitly relate theory to practice and results. Areas of focus include addressing both the depth and the breadth of your curriculum, questions that engage and support student learning, specific scaffolding techniques, and tips for using student portfolios to both document and promote student learning.

Why am I doing this? Purposeful teaching through portfolio assessment.

This book is a testament to the process of professional development inherent in the creation and use of alternative assessment. It offers demonstrable proof that when teachers engage in sustained inquiry, reflection, and communication about assessment, they can discover and define their own professionalism and refine their art of teaching.

Capturing the Wisdom of Practice

This introductory guide has all the steps and strategies you need to create your own professional portfolio and help your school develop a system wide portfolio effort. Explore types of portfolios, what to include in each, and how to make sure your portfolio reflects your abilities and accomplishments.

Communities that Lead, Learn and Last

Communities that Lead, Learn and Last shows how PLCs can become the means for improving teaching and learning, promoting and sustaining educational innovations, and enhancing capacity across the system. It provides practical guidance for schools and districts on developing professional learning communities, by mapping out community-building essentials, and providing guidance, tools, and carefully crafted rubrics. 

Developing Learning Communities through Teacher Expertise

This book offers practical methods for using in-house expertise to generate quality professional development. It provides step-by-step instructions for developing an action plan for incorporating learning communities into a school. Three specific teaching units and supporting material illustrate how to identify and capitalize on teachers' existing expertise.

5 Ways to Help Students Ask Better Questions

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

ASCD Express (online).  September 2018.

Metaphors that Illuminate the Work of Leaders

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

University Business (online).   June 2018.  

Listening with Heart, Body and Mind

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

LCI Publication, 2018.

Effective Facilitation: A Hallmark of Quality PD

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

LCI Publication.  November 2017.

Sustainable Professional Development

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Principal Leadership Magazine.  October 2017.

Learning Made to Measure

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

LCI Publication.  May 2017.

Why do we need to Assess the Intangible?

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Impact On Instructional Improvement. Fall 2016.

Teaching and Assessing Worthy Outcomes.

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Impact On Instructional Improvement. Spring 2016.

Feedback That Supports Learning for Everyone

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep 2015.

When non-action and slow action are courageous acts

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Impact on Instructional Improvement. Vol. 27 (1), 2012.

Authentic Assessment and Learning for Students and Teachers

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

A Path to Engagement. LCI Publication. 2015

Neuroscience of engagement and SCARF

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Why they matter to schools. The Neuroleadership Handbook. 2013.

Developing the Learners We Need

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

LCI publication. 2012.

Aligning Curriculum with Integrity

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

(written with Joanne Picone-Zocchia) LCI publication. 2011.

Mapping for the right reasons

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

EARCOS Journal. September 2011.

Just right mapping

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Just right mapping

Leveraging the Common Core Standards with Authentic Assessments

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

LCI publication. 2011.

Using the Common Core to Test What Matters

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

LCI publication. 2011

Lessons From Helping Teachers Analyze Student Work

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

LCI publication. 2010.

Collecting Evidence

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Virginia Journal of Education. May 2007.

Illustrating the Essential Elements of Middle-Level Reform

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Transition. New York Middle Level Association. Fall 2004

Standards, Feedback, and Diversified Assessment

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Addressing Equity Issues at the Classroom Level. Reading & Writing Quarterly. 2000.

Students Will If Teachers Will

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Re-Orienting Teachers and Students Towards Self-Directed Learning (written with Liz Locatelli). IMPACT. 1997.

The North Shore Collaborative Inquiry Project

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

A Reflective Study of Assessment and Learning (written with Elyse S. Sussman and Elizabeth Meltzer). Journal of Staff Development. Fall 1995.

Designing Schools and Curriculums for the 21st Century

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

(written with Willard M. Kniep). Toward a Coherent Curriculum. 1995.

Authentic Assessment and Curriculum Integration

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Natural Partners in Need of Thoughtful Policy (written with Leslie C. Soodak). Educational Policy. 1994.

Alternative Assessment

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Essential, not Sufficient for Systemic Change (written with Willard M. Kniep). Holistic Education Review. Winter 1992.

Students’ Geographic Knowledge and Skills in Different Kinds of Tests

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

Multiple-Choice versus Performance Assessment (written with Jane Heckley Kon). Social Education. 1992.

Teachers as Curriculum Developers

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep

(written with P. Bruce Uhrmacher). Curriculum Studies. 1992.

Giselle O. Martin Kniep interview: civic engagement

In this interview with Allison Zmuda from Learning Personalized, Giselle discusses her work on promoting civic engagement in the schools, with a focus on how to provide opportunities for students, teachers, administrators and community members to share their perspectives.  


Giselle O. Martin-Kniep on Neuroleadership

Giselle shared her insights as part of a panel on The Brain in School at the Neuroleadership Summit, which focused ways to take knowledge about the brain and apply that to the classroom. Listen to the entire panel discussion, below.