Katia Petersen

Katia Petersen


Katia Petersen, PhD is an author and recognized training expert in school improvement strategies, and integration of social-emotional and academic learning. Her work includes leadership and staff coaching, student and teacher support, as well as parent engagement and community involvement. She has delivered professional development in schools nationwide and to date, Dr. Petersen has trained over 65,000 educators and thousands of parents to enhance school success. Katia utilizes collaborative dialogue to arrive at solutions and action plans with all stakeholders. She has been a visiting professor at the Stanford University School of Education (SUSE), and lecturer at the U of MN.

Katia served as the Chairwoman of the Minnesota Children’s Trust Fund for eight years, overseeing the funding of statewide programs to support children and families. Dr. Petersen has consulted on numerous publications and video projects, including “Scenes From a Shelter: Helping Children Cope With Domestic Violence” for Family Communications - Mr. Rogers Neighborhood; and “Stop Violence Against Women” a comprehensive report by the National Organization of Women (NOW) Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Dr. Petersen’s formative experience began in clinical environments with children ages 3–18 as a child psychotherapist where she developed family and child treatment programming using expressive therapies. Afterward, she changed focus from intervention to prevention and education. She was employed in the St. Paul (MN) Public Schools as a school psychologist and prevention specialist from 1990–2000, where she developed and implemented the Enhancing Student Well-Being Program in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, Educational Psychology Department.

Dr. Petersen is featured in a 14-part video series entitled Teaching Students to Get Along, distributed nationally as a distance-learning course through seven colleges and universities. She is the co-author of a book of the same title, released in fall 1995, rated #5 in the Top Ten Books of 1996 by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Teaching Students to Get Along staff development videos have won a Teacher’s Magazine, Teacher’s Choice: 1996 Excellence in the Classroom award.

Dr. Petersen created and implemented an innovative statewide program in Minnesota called The SafeTeam to prevent bullying and harassment while promoting student assets. In collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Education and KMSP-TV (UPN), the SafeTeam program delivered video, print materials and training to all 387 Minnesota school districts, including 500,000 K–6 students and 20,000 elementary school educators in 1000 Minnesota elementary schools. The program won both the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Best of the Best Children’s Television Award and the National Association of Broadcasters National Service to Children’s Television Award in Washington, DC.

The titles Dr. Petersen has authored or co-authored include:

  • Enhancing Student Well-Being Theme Series (Petersen Argo, Inc.)
  • Girls and Boys Getting Along (Minnesota Dept. of Education)
  • Teaching Students to Get Along (Canter/Laureate Education, Inc.)
  • On the Day You Were Born Creative Arts Curriculum (Minnesota Orchestra)
  • Reach for Your Dreams (Minnesota Dept. of Education)
  • Guardian Ad Litem Pre-Service Training Manual (Supreme Court of Minnesota)
  • Creating Safe and Caring Elementary Schools (National School Safety News Journal)
  • Safe & Caring Schools Series for PKK, Gr 1-2, Gr 3-5, Gr 6-8 (Free Spirit Publishing)
  • Bye Bye Bullies (National Theatre for Children)

Katia’s work focuses on systems change, collaborative processing of organizational needs, creative planning, conflict resolution and mediation. A skilled dialogue practitioner, Katia draws upon a wide range of emergent processes that support effective group work including: World Café, Theory U, and Appreciative Inquiry. Prior to becoming Executive Director of Education at IONS, Dr. Petersen had been serving as the Senior Educational Advisor to IONS' Worldview Explorations Project.


  • Steve Villano with Katia Petersen

    IONS 40th Anniversary Conversations

    This call is with Katia Petersen, PhD, IONS Executive Director of Education. Katia and Steve discuss IONS exciting Worldview Explorations course, which has been developed for secondary schools, colleges, community groups, healthcare settings, and life long learners, and encourages us to explore life’s journey through the lens of curiosity.

    • Teleseminars
    • 2013-02-21
    • 01:02:53
  • Foundations of Worldview Literacy (class 6 of 6)

    Conscious Leadership: Transforming Worldviews


    Week 6 of the course Foundations of Worldview Literacy.

    In this sixth and final class of this series, we look at the world of possibilities through the lens of Worldview Literacy, and explore how these skills can be applied in different domains of life, including work.

    • Foundations of Worldview Literacy
    • 2012-10-17
    • 01:10:35
  • Foundations of Worldview Literacy (class 5 of 6)

    Developing Social Consciousness


    Week 5 of the course Foundations of Worldview Literacy.

    In this fifth class we explore the dynamics of shifting worldviews and develop basic skills to help us transform our perspectives and beliefs.

    • Foundations of Worldview Literacy
    • 2012-10-10
    • 01:00:42
  • Foundations of Worldview Literacy (class 4 of 6)

    Assumptions and Stereotypes


    Week 4 of the course Foundations of Worldview Literacy.

    In this fourth class we explore assumptions and stereotypes by considering how cultural conditioning has impacted our beliefs, perceptions and actions.

    • Foundations of Worldview Literacy
    • 2012-10-03
    • 01:02:40
  • Foundations of Worldview Literacy (class 3 of 6)

    Self-Regulation and Self-Caring


    Week 3 of the course Foundations of Worldview Literacy.

    In this third class we learn ways to avoid being "hijacked" by our emotional and physiological automatic responses to threats and perceived threats.

    • Foundations of Worldview Literacy
    • 2012-09-26
    • 00:54:36
  • Foundations of Worldview Literacy (class 2 of 6)

    What Shapes My Worldview?


    Week 2 of the course Foundations of Worldview Literacy.

    In this second class we explore factors that shape our worldview, including family, culture, biology and environment.

    • Foundations of Worldview Literacy
    • 2012-09-19
    • 01:27:54
  • Foundations of Worldview Literacy (class 1 of 6)

    What is My Worldview?


    Week 1 of the course Foundations of Worldview Literacy.

    This first class focuses on understanding and exploring our own worldview and how different people's worldviews vary.

    • Foundations of Worldview Literacy
    • 2012-09-12
    • 01:07:23
  • Conscious Aging course (class 5 of 8)

    Worldview Transformation and Eldering, with Katia Petersen & Ken Homer


    Week 5 of the course Conscious Aging.

    The featured presenters for this class are Katia Petersen & Ken Homer of The Worldview Literacy Project™. In this class we examine the power of both conscious and subconscious beliefs and stereotypes in shaping our worldview of aging. We look at ways to transform negative stereotypes into more life-affirming beliefs about the aging process.

    • Conscious Aging
    • 2012-02-15
    • 01:19:44
  • "Foundations of the Worldview Literacy Project" with Katia Petersen

    What is a worldview? How do worldviews shape what we know and what we can know? How can we work effectively with people whose worldviews differ from our own? Why is conversation about the nature of worldviews vital to our global community?

    Above is a small sampling of critical questions ...

    • Teleseminars
    • 2011-07-06
    • 00:57:23


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