Purdue News

January 17, 2006

Harvard education expert lectures at Purdue about public schools

Patricia Albjerg Graham

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – An American education historian will visit Purdue University next month to discuss what the public has demanded from education in the last century – and what remains to be done.

Patricia Albjerg Graham, a Purdue graduate, former Indiana University assistant professor and the Charles Warren Research Professor of the History of American Education at Harvard University, will speak at 4 p.m. Feb. 2 at Purdue Memorial Union's North Ballroom. As part of the Purdue Libraries' Distinguished Series, Graham will talk about her book "Schooling America: How the Public Schools Meet the Nation's Changing Needs."

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Graham, who has also served as a teacher, guidance counselor and college vice president, drew upon her personal experiences and the resources of Purdue Libraries' Archives and Special Collections to write the book.

Graham has also been the dean of Harvard's Graduate School of Education and director of the National Institute of Education.

"Our elementary, secondary and higher education sectors are getting better, just not as rapidly or as completely as we would like," Graham writes in the book.

The book traces the evolution of public education since 1900, examining the cultural assimilation of immigrants, the increased focus on individual student needs after World War I, the expanded access to opportunities during the Civil Rights era, a push for greater school and student achievement beginning under Ronald Reagan and now a focus on more accountability under George W. Bush.

"A thoughtful, insightful analysis by a brilliant scholar and educational leader," said University of Miami president Donna Shalala, a former Clinton administration Cabinet member in a review of the book. "Must reading for everyone who cares about our public schools."

Graham's free lecture is sponsored by Randall and Jeanne Murrill and presented in cooperation with the College of Education. A reception immediately follows the lecture. To attend, please e-mail or call by Jan. 27 at libevent@purdue.edu or (765) 494-0975.

Writer: Jim Schenke, (765) 494-6262, jschenke@purdue.edu

Sources: Judy Schumaker, Director of Advancement, (765) 494-7987, jschumkr@purdue.edu

Patricia Graham, (617) 496-4893, grahampa@gse.harvard.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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