Katz, Lilian G. (1932-) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Katz, Lilian G. (1932-)

Historical Note:

Lilian G. Katz (1932- ) is a professor emerita of Early Childhood Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Professor Katz is internationally recognized for professionalizing the field of early childhood education through pre-school teacher training and development. Her research emphasizes project-based learning for pre-kindergarten children and the need to foster children's social competence. She has authored and co-authored over two hundred publications, including articles, chapters, and books about teacher education, child development, and parenting of young children. For thirteen years Professor Katz also wrote a monthly column for Parents Magazine.

Lilian G. Katz was born in 1932 in London, England. She attended the Burlington School for Girls and Trinity College of Music in London (1943-1947) and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Los Angeles, California in 1950. Katz attended Whittier College (1950-1952) and then graduated Cum Laude from San Francisco State University in 1964 with a BA in Social Sciences. Katz received her PhD in Psychological Studies from Stanford University in 1968. Professor Katz also holds honorary degrees from Whittier College (Doctor of Letters, DLitt, 1993) and Goteborg University, Sweden (PhD, 2000).

Upon graduating from Stanford University, Professor Katz worked as an assistant professor of Early Childhood Education (1968-1970) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; she became associate professor in 1970 and full professor in 1973. During her tenure at Illinois, Professor Katz served as Director of ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education (1970-1999 and its Co-Director (1999-2003), Chairman of the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education (1979-1981), Co-Director for the Research Unit on Teacher Education (1979-1982), and has been a Member of Staff at the Center on Early Education & Parenting (2004-present). Professor Katz also founded two journals: Early Childhood Research Quarterly, for which she served as editor-in-chief for its first six years, and Early Childhood Research & Practice. Professor Katz served as the President of the National Association for the Education for Young Children and was the first President of the Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children. Professor Katz also served as a member of the Illinois Governor's Advisory Council to the Department of Children and Family Services (1974), chairperson of the National Task Force on Child Development (1980-1981), and was the co-chair of the preprimary project of the International Evaluation Association (1980).

Her work is internationally recognized. Katz has lectured in all 50 U.S. states and in over 50 countries. In 1974, Professor Katz was asked by UNESCO to conduct a teacher-training seminar in Barbados. She has held visiting academic positions in Australia (1976), Canada (1986, 1987, 1991) England, (1975, 1976, 1988, 2003), Germany (1981), India (1983, 1997), Israel (1990), the West Indies (Barbados campus, 1983), and throughout the United States. Professor Katz also served as the Nahru Professor at the University Barado in Indian (1997).

Her recent publications include Engaging Children's Minds: The Project Approach, 3rd edition, with Sylvia Chard and Yvonne Kogan (2015), The Project Approach in the Early Years, 2nd edition, with Judy Harris Helm (2012), and Intellectual Emergencies. Reflections on Mothering and Teaching, with S. J. Katz (2009).

Professor Katz is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including: "Scholar of Excellence" at the University of Illinois (1974); "Distinguished Achievement Award" given for excellence in Educational Journalism (1989); Fulbright Fellow at the University of India (1983); Fulbright Travel Award for New Zealand (1991); "Award of Excellence" presented by the Child Advocacy Awards of Philadelphia (1999); the "Lifelong Friend of Children Award" (2000); and many others.

She was married to Boris Katz and they had three children.

Professor Katz retired from the University of Illinois in August of 2000.

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