EEFI 2013- Speaker Biographies

March 2: Debbie LeeKeenan


Debbie LeeKeenan has been the Director of the Eliot Pearson Children's School since 1996. Her professional experience includes over 35 years of teaching in diverse university, public schools and early childhood settings. She has been a teacher of teachers, teacher of parents and a teacher of young children. Her interests are in early childhood education, curriculum development, teacher training, and anti-bias teaching and learning. She has been involved with project-based curriculum and applications of Reggio Emilia approach for many years. Her published works have appeared in the first edition of Hundred Languages of Children and in the NAEYC journal, Young Children. She is an author of Proactive Parenting: Guiding Your Child From Two to Six, written by Faculty of Tufts University's Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development. Debbie has presented workshops at numerous conferences, both locally and nationally and has been a consultant for various school systems and educational organizations. Debbie received her Bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and her Master's degree from the University of New Mexico. She has two adult children and a six year old granddaughter.


Multicultural and anti-bias teaching, teacher education, home-school partnerships, early childhood education

Scholarship & Research
Educational Outreach Consultant and Staff Developer for the Center for Applied Child Development

Proactive Parenting: Guiding Your Child From Two to Six

LeeKeenan, D. & Nimmo, J. (1993). Connections: Using the Project Approach with Two and Three Year Olds in a University Laboratory School. in Edwards, C., Forman, G. & Gandini, L. The Hundred Languages of Children. Ablex Publishing Co.

LeeKeenan, D. & Edwards, C. (1992). Using the Project Approach with Toddlers. Young Children. 47(4), 31-35.

LeeKeenan, D. (1988). Creative Approaches for Developing Early Childhood Curriculum. Handbook for the Human Development Laboratory School, UMass at Amherst. 

April 6: Dr. Karen Mapp

Karen L. Mapp is a lecturer on education at HGSE. Her research and practice expertise is in the areas of educational leadership and educational partnerships among schools, families, and community members. Mapp joined HGSE in January 2005 after serving for 18 months as the interim deputy superintendent of Family and Community Engagement for the Boston Public Schools (BPS). While working with the BPS, she continued to fulfill her duties as president of the Institute for Responsive Education (IRE), a research, policy, and advocacy organization that conducts research on and advocates for effective school, family, and community partnerships that support the educational development of children. Mapp joined IRE in 1997 as project director for the Boston Community Partners for Students' Success initiative. She was appointed vice president in May 1998 and president in September 1998. Mapp holds a doctorate and master's of education from HGSE in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy, a master's in Counselor Education from Southern Connecticut State University, and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1997, she was awarded a Spencer Dissertation Fellowship for her research on how and why families are involved in their children's educational development. She is the author of "Making the Connection between Families and Schools," published by the Harvard Education Letter (1997) and "Having Their Say: Parents Describe How and Why They Are Engaged in Their Children's Learning" in the School Community Journal (2002). She also coauthored with Anne Henderson A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement (2002).


May 4: Dr. Sharon Lynn Kagan


Sharon Lynn Kagan is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy and Co-Director of the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Professor Adjunct at Yale University's Child Study Center. Dr. Kagan, recognized nationally and internationally for her work related to the care and education of young children and their families, is a frequent consultant to the White House, Congress, the National Governors’ Association, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, numerous states, foundations, corporations, and professional associations, and serves on over 40 national boards or panels. She has been the President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Co-Chair of the National Education Goals Panel on Goal One, Chair of the Family Support America’s Board of Directors, a member of President Clinton’s education transition team, and National Commissions on Head Start and Chapter 1. She is dedicated to early childhood education, having been a Head Start Teacher and Director, as well as an administrator in the public schools and Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Early Childhood Education. In addition to these contributions, Dr. Kagan is globally recognized for her unique scholarship. In over 225 publications including 13 volumes, Kagan’s analytic work has helped the field define school readiness, the early childhood system, dimensions of collaboration, and leadership in early care and education. With scores of grants from America’s leading foundations and the federal government, she has researched early childhood pedagogy, strategies for service integration, and the evaluation of social programs. She is currently working around the globe with UNICEF to establish early learning standards in Armenia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Ghana, Jordan, Mongolia, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, and Viet Nam. Perhaps most importantly, however, Dr. Kagan may be best known as the only woman in the history of American Education to be recognized for these contributions with its most prestigious awards: the 2004 Distinguished Service Award from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the 2005 James Bryant Conant Award for Lifetime Service to Education from the Education Commission of the States (ECS), and the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education.

May 18: Dr. Jacqueline Jones


Jacqueline Jones serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning under the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Dr. Jones is the former Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Early Childhood Education in the New Jersey State Department of Education, where oversaw standards, curriculum and assessment for preschool through 3rd grade programs statewide. Prior to joining the NJ Department of Education, Dr. Jones worked for 15 years in the Research Division at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ. As a Senior Research Scientist and the Director of Early Childhood Research and Development, her work focused on the study of assessment in early childhood, specifically the development of classroom-based strategies to document young children’s science and literacy learning. Dr. Jones has written in the area of early childhood assessment and is particularly interested in the development of effective early childhood assessment systems for school districts and states. Her work also explores the role of documentation and assessment in the ongoing professional development of early childhood educators. Dr. Jones has given presentations across the country and has served on a number of national advisory committees including the National Head Start Research Advisory Committee, the Pew National Early Childhood Accountability Task Force and the National Research Council’s Committee on Developmental Outcomes and Assessments for Young Children. She received a BA from Hunter College and MA and Ph.D. from Northwestern University.