Merritt Lecture to cover Montessori founder

Barbara Thayer-Bacon
Barbara Thayer-Bacon

Barbara Thayer-Bacon, professor of philosophy of education at the University of Tennessee, will deliver the annual James and Helen Merritt Distinguished Service Award to Philosophy of Education Lecture at NIU.

She will speak Thursday, Oct. 11, on “Maria Montessori: Educator for Peace.”

The event includes a reception for the speaker from 3:30 to 4 p.m. followed by the address from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Both the reception and the lecture will be held in the Sky Room of the Holmes Student Center, and are free and open to the public.

Thayer-Bacon is program coordinator for the Cultural Studies in Education Program at the University of Tennessee and editor of the journal International Education. She is the author of more than 15 chapters, 70 journal articles and four books, including “Transforming Critical Thinking and Philosophy Applied to Education: Nurturing a Democratic Community in the Classroom.”

She earned her doctorate from Indiana University and has degrees from Rutgers University, Pennsylvania State University and San Diego State University. Prior to her graduate studies, she held California teaching credentials and American Montessori Society teaching credentials, both at the elementary level, in all subjects.

Helen and James Merritt
Helen and James Merritt

The late James Merritt, the first philosophy of education professor at NIU, founded the award and lecture presentation in 1993 to invoke a culture of philosophy as a strong, positive role in teacher education.

Along with his wife, the late Helen Merritt, former professor of art history in the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts, they began sponsoring a series of presentations designed to bring philosophical thought to a broader audience and further our educational commitments and participation as democratic citizens.

This prestigious honor is awarded to scholars who have made a significant impact in educational philosophy at local, national and international levels.

For more information, call (815) 753-4404 or email lepf@niu.edu.

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