Professor Barbara Bowman is one of three faculty founders of Erikson Institute. She served as president of the Institute from 1994 to 2001 and as interim president of external affairs from June to December 2013. She is the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development.

She is an authority on early education, a national advocate for improved and expanded training for practitioners who teach and care for young children, and a pioneer in building knowledge and understanding of the issues of access and equity for minority children.

She was chief early childhood education officer for the Chicago Public Schools and a former consultant to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. She is past president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and has served on numerous boards, including the High Scope Educational Foundation, the Institute for Psychoanalysis, Business People in the Public Interest, the Great Books Foundation, the Chicago Public Library Foundation, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Among the honors she has received are the Voices for Illinois’ Children Start Early Award; Chicago Association for the Education of Young Children Outstanding Service to Children Award; Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education; and the National Black Child Development Institute Leadership Award.

Areas of Expertise

Early childhood care and education; of young children; educational equity for low-income and minority children; and intergenerational family support, particularly the role of grandparents.

Honors

  • Lewis University, D.H.L, 2009
  • Wheelock College, DEd, 2005
  • Governors State University, D.H.L., 2002
  • Dominican University, D.H.L., 2001
  • Roosevelt University, D.H.L., 1998

Education

B.A., Sarah Lawrence College;
M.A. in Education, University of Chicago.

Related Experience

  • Consultant to the Secretary of Education, 2009
  • Chief Officer, Early Childhood Education (Prekindergarten & Kindergarten) Chicago Public Schools, 2004-2012
  • President, Erikson Institute, 1994-2002

Service

  • Reinvention of Center Accreditation, National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Strategic Planning Committee, Chicago Public Schools
  • Advisory Board, Barr-Harris Center
  • Member, Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children, National Academy of Science, National Research Council
  • Chair, Committee on Early Childhood Pedagogy, National Academy of Science, National Research Council
  • Editorial Board, Early Childhood Research Quarterly

Research

Research state standards for bilingual/bicultural education.

Recent Publications

Bowman, B. (2012). Commentary. Data and development: Revisit the framework. Journal of School Psychology, v. 50, 581-586.

Bowman, Barbara (2012). Teaching Young Children Well: Implications for 21st Century Educational Policies. In Judith Alston (Series Ed.) & Diana T. Slaughter-Defoe, (Vol. Ed.), Messages for educational leadership: The Constance E. Clayton Lectures, 1998-2007. New York: Peter Lang publishers.

Ray, A & Bowman B. (2012) In B. Falks (Ed), Defending Childhood: Keeping the Promise of Early Education. New York, Teachers College Press.

Bowman, B. (2010). State Funded Preschools. In Children of 2020: Creating a Better Tomorrow, V. Washington & J.D. Andrews (eds). Washington, D.C: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Bowman, B. & Weissbourd, B. (March, 2010). The Importance of Grandparents, Zero to Three, V. 30, N. 4, 23-27.

Bowman, B. (2010). State Funded Preschools. In Children of 2020: Creating a Better Tomorrow, V. Washington & J.D. Andrews (eds). Washington, D.C: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Ray, A., Bowman, B. & Robbins, J. (2006). Preparing Early Childhood Teachers To Successfully Educate All Children: The Contribution of Four-Year Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Programs, A Project of the Initiative on Race, Class and Culture in Early Childhood, Final Report to the Foundation for Child Development, New York, New York.

Bowman, B. (2006). Standards in Early Childhood Education. Young Children.

Bowman, B. T., & Ray, A. (2004). Proceedings of the Conference, Field of Early Childhood Education Professional Development: Implications for Teaching, Research, and Policy.

Horton, C., & Bowman, B.T. (2002) Child Assessment at the Pre-primary Level: Expert Opinion and State Trends. Occasional Paper. Chicago: Erikson Institute Herr Research Center.

Bowman, B., & Moore, E. (Eds.) (2006). School Readiness and Social-Emotional Development: Exploring Diverse Cultural Perspectives. National Black Child Development Institute.

Bowman, B. T. (2001) Facing the Future. NAEYC at 75. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Bowman, B. T., Donovan, S., & Burns, M. (Eds.). (2001). Eager to Learn. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press.

Bowman, B. T. (1999). Kindergarten Practices for Children from Low-Income Homes. In Pianata, R., & Cox, M. (Eds.), The Transition to Kindergarten. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

Bowman, B. T. (1998). Policy Implications for Math, Science, and Technology in Early Childhood Education. Dialogue on Early Childhood Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education. American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Bowman, B. T. (1997). Preschool as Family Support in Advances. In Reifel, S. (Ed.), Early Education and Day Care: Family Policy and Practice on Early Child Care. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, Inc.

Kagan, S. L., & Bowman, B.T. (Eds.). (1997). Leadership in Early Care and Education. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Stott, F., & Bowman, B.T. (1996). Child Development Knowledge: A Slippery Base for Practice. Early Childhood Research Quarterly 11.