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Dr. Betty Jones, play enthusiast, opens up Pacific Oaks' Evangeline Burgess Lecture Series

Young child learning through painting
Young child learning through painting
Photo by Takemoto/StockXChng

Pacific Oaks College announces the return of the prestigious Evangeline Burgess Lecture in Human Development Series. This lecture series offers opportunities to meet Pacific Oaks students, alumni, and faculty, as it presents information underpinning the educational philosophy of Pacific Oaks College's Education and Human Development programs.

The first presentation highlights one of Pacific Oak's most treasured and prolific instructors, Dr. Elizabeth (Betty) Jones. She will present a lecture entitled "Play Across the Life Cycle: From Initiative to Integrity and Transcendence," on Wednesday, April 7th, 2010, from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. A reception in honor of her retirement will follow. This event is open to all. No cost or RSVP is required. The location is The Greene Lawn at Pacific Oaks College, 5 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, CA 91103.

Dr. Jones' lecture is an

"autobiographical excursion through lifespan developmental theory, [and] is a reflection on Betty's life as a player, embedded in the context of Erik and Joan Erikson's stages of human development."

The lecture will touch upon how sharing each others' stories helps humans engage in theory-building and whether this helps people construct

"schema that enable us to find order in past, present and future?"

Play which involves

"initiating action, creating patterns, and re-creating them with others is discussed as the human skill that gives us perspective on our lives. "

The importance of play as part of people's lives goes hand-in-hand with Pacific Oaks's

"hope of creating a more peaceful world - a world that all begins with little children, and that gains continuity through elders' reflection on lives lived."

Dr. Jones retires after 55 years on the Pacific Oaks College faculty. Her early college experiences already showed her attraction to play research, as the then English major switched to Psychology her senior year, and accepted an assistantship at a play therapy clinic. Later she went onto graduate studies in Child Development at the University of Wisconsin and

"learned all about observing children and, incidentally about teaching preschool."

After finishing advanced work, she responded to a preschool teacher ad at the Pacific Oaks Friends School which eventually resulted in her teaching a class in the newly formed teacher education program which later became Pacific Oaks College. Since 1954, she has spent

"decades learning to teach adults in the same way I had learned to teach children - developmentally, emergently, actively, playfully."

Both her experiential  and scholarly interest in play has carried her forward in bringing the importance of fun to young children, educators, parents, and teacher education students through her lectures. Merging her interest in writing and play, she has also written books: The Play's the Thing, Master Players, and Playing to Get Smart.


Now it's YOUR TURN:

Leave a comment. 

Do you plan on attending?  Did you attend?  Do you play?

Let me know.

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  • Susan Homma 5 years ago

    I graduated from Pacific Oaks and Betty Jones was my mentor. I received my MA Human Development four years ago. I wish that I had been informed about this lecture as well as Betty's retirement. She has influenced many people in the field of early child hood development. I stumbled upon this article when I was looking for some quotes by Betty to add to my college instructor web page.


  • Grace Hess-Quimbita 4 years ago

    Hi Susan,

    I hear your lament. My goal is to get information about speakers and keep folks updated about the state of progressive education in all its forms from various places and don't mind doing the work for you. Please check this site often and join my Facebook Page:

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