Betty Jones

Betty Jones


Office Location
Pacific Oaks College
55 Eureka Street Pasadena, CA 91103
55 Eureka 55 Eureka St
Faculty Emerita
Human Development & Family Studies
Ph.D Sociology University of Southern California
MA Sociology Whittier College
MA Child Development University of Wisconsin
BA Psychology University of the Pacific
Areas of Interest/Expertise

Learning through Play
Emergent Curriculum
Active Learning for Adults
Online Learning


I have been at Pacific Oaks since the College began, and I taught in the Children's School before starting to teach College classes.   What I learned by studying child development has served as the basis for my understanding of human development and learning across the life cycle.  Teaching adults, observing children, endless dialogue with colleagues (many of them Pacific Oaks College alumnae), and writing a lot of it down have provided me with a never-ending adult play experience in the social construction of knowledge.  

I retired last year but continue active involvement as Faculty Emerita.

Select Presentations

Keynote speaker, AEYC (Association for the Education of Young Children) state conferences: New York, Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Wisconsin, Washington, New Jersey, Vermont, British Columbia, Saskatchewan; Western States Leadership Network; First Nations Head Start, British Columbia; Singapore; Australia; New Zealand.

Workshop leader at all the above and at NAEYC national conference and Professional Development Institute, California AEYC, California Mentor Project, Australian Reading Association, Australian Early Childhood Association, and in Israel and Fiji.

Select Publications

Books (selected titles)

The Play's the Thing: Teachers' Roles in Children's Play (with Gretchen Reynolds)  2nd edition.  Teachers College Press, 2011 (first edition 1992)

Teaching Adults Revisited.  NAEYC, 2007

Playing to Get Smart (with Renatta Cooper).  Teachers College Press, 2006

The Lively Kindergarten: Emergent Curriculum in Action (with Kathleen Evans and Kay Stritzel Rencken). 2001, NAEYC

Master Players (with Gretchen Reynolds): Learning from Children at Play.  Teachers College Press, 1997

Emergent Curriculum (with John Nimmo).  NAEYC, 1994

Teaching Adults: An Active Learning Approach.  NAEYC, 1986

Articles (selected titles)

Play across the life cycle.  Young Children, July 2011

The outdoor classroom project (with Eric Nelson) in E. Goodenough (Ed.) A Place for Play.  Ann Arbor: National Institute for Play, 2008.

The Elephant's Child as caregiver, in B. Neugebauer (Ed) Professionalism. Exchange Press 2008

Leave no grown-up behind: Coming to terms with technology (with Judy Magee).  Young Children, May 2004.

Creating culturally relevant holiday curriculum: A negotiation (with Karen Neubert), in C. Copple (Ed.) A World of Difference: Readings on Teaching Young Children in a Diverse Society.  NAEYC 2003

"Every time they get started, we interrupt them": Children with special needs at play (with Frances Henderson) in C. Brown & C. Marchant (Eds.) Play in Practice.  Redleaf Press 2002.

Collaboration, conflict and change: Thoughts on education as provocation (with John Nimmo).  Young Children, September 1999

Creating environments where teachers, like children, learn through play, in B. & R. Neugebauer (Eds), The Art of Leadership.  Exchange Press, 1998

Breaking the ice: Confronting status differences among professionals, and Constructing professional knowledge by telling our stories, in J. Johnson & J. McCracken (Eds.) The Early Childhood Career Lattice.  NAEYC 1994.

Meeting the challenge of diversity (with Louise Derman-Sparks).  Young Children 1992

Community Involvement

Consultant: Albuquerque, Pasadena, Salinas, Soledad, Juneau and Sitka Public Schools; Kyushu Otani Junior College (Japan), Pine Hill early childhood programs (Navaho), University of Victoria (BC)/MeadowLake Tribal Council child care training project, First Nations Child Care Quality Study (Canada); early childhood programs in Fiji, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore; Head Start, migrant child care, Child Development Associate, NAEYC accreditation; editorial/advisory boards: Teachers College Press, NAEYC, Children's Environments

Resource Team leader, Partnership Project, Pasadena Unified School District and Pacific Oaks College

Associate Member, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Victoria (Canada)

DeLissa Fellow, South Australia College of Education

Professional Memberships

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)