Olga Winbush

Olga Winbush


Office Location
Pacific Oaks College
55 Eureka Street Pasadena, CA 91103
55 Eureka 55 Eureka St
Core Faculty
School of Human Development & Family Studies
BA in Sociology, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)
MA in Human Development, Pacific Oaks College
Ph.D in Comparative Education and Social Sciences, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)
California Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, 1993, renewed, 2012
Areas of Interest/Expertise
Human Development
Early Childhood Education
School age/Elementary Education
Child Development
Cultural Issues
Culture and Learning Styles
Afrocentric Development
Literacy Development and Education
Progressive Education Pedagogy and Curriculum
Social Justice Pedagogy and Curriculum
Descriptive Inquiry and Evaluation
Student Learning and Assessment

Dr. Olga Winbush has been a core faculty member in the Human Development department at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena California for the past 13 years. She served as the literacy curriculum consultant for Bridging Resources in Technology and Education After-School program in Pasadena for six years and California First Five Pasadena Collaborative Literacy Project for five years.  Before coming to Pacific Oaks, she was an elementary school teacher for ten years at Children's Community School, a progressive education school located in Van Nuys, CA. She was one of the founding teachers at Children's Community School where she taught kindergarten through fourth grade. Olga also worked in early childhood with two to five year olds at the Pacific Oaks' Children's School, the Johnnie Tillmon Child Development Center in Los Angeles, and the Grand Valley State College Pre-school and Child Care Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Olga's education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.), a Master of Arts degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, a Multiple Subject California Clear Teaching Credential, and a Ph.D in Comparative Education and Social Sciences from U.C.L.A. She has done extensive research around children's literacy, the use of children's narratives in developing anti-bias/culturally inclusive curriculum, and the role of culture in children's learning and literacy acquisition. Olga is a member of the North Dakota Study Group on Evaluation, the Network of Progressive Educators, the National Black Child Development Institute, Institute on Descriptive Inquiry, and the Association for Childhood Education International.

Select Presentations

Winbush, Olga, Booze, ReGena, and Greer-Jarman, Cheryl (2011)  "Children's Narratives as Social Justice Pedagogy" featured at the Progressive Educators Network (PEN) Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois.

Winbush, Olga (2011) "Literacy Development in African-American Children: Using Children's Narratives" featured at the Institute on Descriptive Inquiry Seminar, Conference, Bennington, Vermont.

Winbush, Olga, Booze, ReGena, and Greer-Jarman, Cheryl (2010) "Learning Environments in African-American Families" featured at the National Association for the Education of Young Children/National Black Child Development Institute National Conference, Anaheim, California.

Winbush, Olga (2009) "Peer Literacy and Its Role in Children's Reading" featured speaker/presenter at Pacific Oaks College Scholarly Presentations, Pasadena, California.

Winbush, Olga (2009) "Critical Literacy in Early Childhood" keynote address featured at Beach Cities Association for the Educaton of Young Children (BCAEYC) Annual Conference, Long Beach, California.

Winbush, Olga (2007) "From Children's Stories to Culturally Emergent Classroom Curriculum" featured at Long Beach City College's Discover Conference, Long Beach, California.

Winbush, Olga (2005) "Leave No Story Behind: Using Children's Life Stories as Emergent Literacy Curriculum" featured at National Black Child Development Institute National Conference, Orlando, Florida.

Winbush, Olga (2004) "A Study of Context-Based Instructional Styles in African-American Families: Implications for Schooling and Teacher Training" featured at Oxford Round Table Conference on At-Risk Children, Pembroke College, Oxford, England.

Select Publications

Winbush, Olga (2007). Literacy Development in African-American Children. Prospect Review, 28(e), 4-11. Prospect Center for Education and Research. http://www.prospectcenter.org

 Winbush, Olga (2001).  "The Story of a Field Trip: Trash and Its Place within Children's Learning and Community."  in Child Care Information Exchange Journal.  Redmond, Washington: Roger Neugebauer

Winbush, Olga (1996). "African-American Oral Traditions: Their Impact in the Classroom." in Valuing Each Other: Perspectives on Culturally Responsive Teaching. Cohen, Monroe. (ed.) University of North Dakota: Center for Teaching and Learning.

Winbush. Olga (1996). "A Tutor's Guide to the Textbook Reading Process." in Tutor Training Handbook. Gier, Tom, and Hancock, Karan (eds.) Anchorage: College Reading and Learning Association

Winbush, Olga (1993) "Who Has to Change? African-American Oral Traditions in Multicultural Classrooms." in Pathways Progressive Education Journal. Grand Forks: Center for Teaching and Learning.

Community Involvement

BRITE after-school program

After-school programs of the Antelope Valley

Kids' Club- Roosevelt Community Church

Professional Memberships

North Dakota Study Group on Evaluation

Progressive Educators Network

Institute on Descriptive Inquiry

National Black Child Development Institute

Association for Childhood Education International


Q: Please describe your teaching philosophy.

The purpose of education is to build democratic community grounded in social justice. In order to achieve this goal it is important to support learners in developing critical thinking using learners' life experiences thoughts and ideas to construct knowledge, building upon their cultural wealth and assets. Supporting learners in bringing their diversity to the table and building democratic learning communities in and outside of the classroom is an important and an essential part of teaching

Q: Please provide a statement or philosophy regarding the practice of psychology/human development.

The practice of psychology/human development means integrating an individual's physical, mental, social, emotional, cognitive, and cultural development into a dynamic process of individual, group and community growth and development.

Q: Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology/human development?

I chose to enter this field because it encapsulates all of what it means to work with children and adults in ways that support and empower their individual growth and development, so that they can move forward and construct spaces of community and liberation which honor and value the fullness of theirs' and others' humanity.

Q: What advice would you give to a student entering Pacific Oaks College?

Know that that you have much to bring to the table; your thoughts, ideas and experiences form the foundation for your learning. Take your life experiences and cultural assets and use them as opportunities to grow and construct knowledge, which you can take into meaningful action in your work with children and families.