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Early Childhood Education scholar and pioneer Barbara T. Bowman visits Pasadena to deliver lecture

April 13, 2012

Categories: News

Published: April 13, 2012

PASADENA, Calif. – One of the country’s top experts in child development visited one of the nation’s leading institutions for the study and application of early childhood education on April 12 to deliver the Evangeline Burgess Memorial Lecture sponsored by Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School.

Past President of Erikson Institute and Current Chief Early Childhood Education Officer for Chicago Public Schools Addresses the Achievement Gap

Barbara T BowmanAn audience of teachers, students, community leaders, and others turned out for the annual event—held at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church—to listen to Barbara T. Bowman deliver a talk titled Addressing the Achievement Gap: What Should We Teach and How Should We Teach It. A former consultant to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and past president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Bowman currently serves as chief early childhood education officer for the Chicago Public Schools.  In addition, she is a founder and past president of Erikson Institute where she remains the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development. Bowman’s discussion centered on the exploration of barriers and successful approaches to delivering pre-school education.

Bowman’s talk carries on a long-standing tradition at Pacific Oaks that dates to when scholar Milton J.E. Senn of Yale University delivered the first Burgess Lecture in 1968. The series is named after Dr. Evangeline Burgess who served as the first president of Pacific Oaks College from 1959 until her untimely death in 1965. A leading advocate of high-quality teacher education and one of the college’s founders, Dr. Burgess had a reputation for bringing out the best potential in everyone and was known as a deeply caring person. To honor her memory, Pacific Oaks instituted the annual Memorial Lectures to be delivered by widely known luminaries in the field of early childhood education.

“The Pacific Oaks culture and legacy that we enjoy today owes a great debt to namesake of the lecture series that we will enjoy tonight: Dr. Evangeline Burgess,” said Pacific Oaks President Ezat Parnia in his opening remarks. “Since arriving I have spent time looking through the Pacific Oaks archives, including old photos, records, and newspaper clippings. A presence in many of them is Dr. Burgess herself. The more I learn about her, in writings and talking to those who knew her, the more honored I am to be the steward of a position that she once held.”

To learn more about the Evangeline Burgess Memorial Lecture Series, contact Kamili Mathis at (626) 529-8094.

About Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School:
Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School has played a crucial role in the development of early childhood education in the United States for more than half a century. Founded in 1959 by a small group of Quaker families, Pacific Oaks College is dedicated to the fundamental Quaker principles of inclusion, social justice, and the valuing of every human being. The College’s faculty has developed innovative curriculum and tools that are widely used in early childhood and teacher training programs—both in the U.S. and throughout the world. Pacific Oaks is well-known for its leadership in a learning-through-play curriculum, and for the ground-breaking anti-bias curriculum that has been implemented in schools throughout the country and is often required reading in early childhood teacher training courses. Founded in 1945, the Children’s School is widely recognized today as one of the finest preschools in the nation. For more information, visit and

MEDIA CONTACT: Matthew Nehmer
(312) 329-6672

Categories: News