Debbie LeeKeenan teaches in the Early Childhood program at the Graduate School of Education.
Professional Title: Visiting Professor
Areas of Academic Focus and Expertise: Early childhood education; curriculum development, teacher education and professional development, inclusive special education, teacher inquiry and documentation, leadership development, anti-bias education and social change.
Area of Work and Concentration at Lesley: Early Childhood Education.
Representative List of Recent Courses Taught: Integrated Curriculum in Early Childhood: Social Studies and Classroom Life
Education: BA, Oberlin College; MEd, University of New Mexico
Representative List of Recent Publications / Exhibitions: PublicationsGiven, H., Kuh, L., LeeKeenan, D., Mardell, B., Redditt, S., Twombly, S., (2010). Changing School Culture: Using Documentation to Support Collaborative Inquiry, Observation, Documentation, and Reflection to Create a Culture of Inquiry, Theory Into Practice, Winter 2010, Vol. 49, No. Mardell, B. LeeKeenan, D., Given, H., Robinson, D., Merino, B., and Liu-Constant, Y. (2009), Zooms: Promoting School wide Inquiry and Improving Practice, Voice of Practitioners 11, NAEYC.LeeKeenan, D. and Allen, B. (2003) Chapter 12: Sending Your Child Off to School: The Home School Partnership. In Faculty of Tufts, Dept. of Child Development, Proactive Parenting: Guiding Your Child From Two to Six. Berkley Publishing Co., NY, NY.LeeKeenan, D. and Allen, B. (2003) Chapter 5: The Importance of Friendship in Faculty of Tufts, Dept. of Child Development, Proactive Parenting: Guiding Your Child From Two to Six. Berkley Publishing Co., NY, NY.LeeKeenan, D. & Edwards, C. (1990) Using the Project Approach with Toddlers. Young Children, 1992, 47(4), 31-35.LeeKeenan, D. and Nimmo, J. (1991). Connections: Using the Project Approach with Two and Three Year Olds in a University Laboratory School, The Hundred Languages of Children, Edwards, C., Forman, G. & Gandini, L. (Ablex Publishing Co.) 1993.LeeKeenan, D. (1988). Creative Approaches for Developing Early Childhood Curriculum, (University of Massachusetts at Amherst).Presentations LeeKeenan, D., Given, H. (2012). Behind the Scenes: How Teachers Decide, Develop, and Document Culturally Responsive and Relevant, Classroom CurriculumNAEYC Conference, Atlanta, GA.LeeKeenan, D. and Mercer- McLean, A., (2011) Opening Plenary: Lillian Katz, Keynote Speaker: Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching: Putting it All Together, Respondent Panelist. NAEYC: Professional Development Institute June 2011, Providence, RI. LeeKeenan, D., Robinson, D., Nimmo, J., and Pollaro, L. (2011), Strategizing the Shift to Anti-Bias Education: The Director's Role, NAEYC: Professional Development Institute June 2011, Providence, RI. LeeKeenan, D., Kuh, L., and Given, H., (2011) Creating an Early Childhood Professional Learning Community: Engaging Teachers in Facilitated Discourse about Teaching and Learning, NAEYC: Professional Development Institute June 2011, Providence, RI. LeeKeenan, D., Kirschner, S., Beneke, M., and Issagona, J., (2011), Practicing inclusion, doing justice: Challenges and rewards of balancing similarities and differences at an early childhood center, NAEYC, Orlando, Fla. LeeKeenan, D., Ponte, I., Scarlett, G., (2009), The whys and hows of Building a Natural Playground: from the perspective of child, teacher and researcher NAEYC, Washington D.C.Bers, M & LeeKeenan, D. (2007). Ready for robotics? A project-based approach to introducing technology and engineering. National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.LeeKeenan, D., Nemeskal, K., New, R., Robinson D., (2003) Documentation as a tool for supporting learning and building relations among children, parents and teachersNational Association for the Education of Young Children annual conference, Chicago, IL.
Debbie LeeKeenan came to Lesley University after 20 years as Director and lecturer, at the Eliot Pearson Children’s School, the laboratory school for the Department of Child Development at Tufts University. Past professional experience includes over 40 years of teaching in diverse university, public schools, and early childhood settings in Massachusetts, New York City, New Mexico, Philadelphia and Taiwan. She has been a teacher of teachers, teacher of parents and a teacher of young children. She has been involved with project-based curriculum and applications of Reggio Emilia approach for over 30 years. Debbie brings an anti-bias lens to all content areas and perspectives. She has presented workshops at numerous conferences, locally, nationally and internationally and has been a consultant for various school systems and educational organizations. Debbie was awarded the Tufts University Arts and Sciences Multicultural Service Award in May 2003 and the Building Bridges Tufts Distinction Award in June 2009 for her work with diversity.LeeKeenan is the 2015 recipient of the Abigail Eliot* Award, given by
the Boston Association for the Education of Young Children (BAEYC) to
honor outstanding commitment to young children and the early childhood
profession not only through the work on behalf of BAEYC, but also
through a record of distinguished professional achievement. *Abigail
Adams Eliot was a pioneer of the nursery school movement, who received
her doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1930. She
went on to lead in the formation of the National Association for the
Education of Young Children, and helped to get funding from the Works
Progress Administration for nursery schools for unemployed families. In
1961, she became the unpaid director of development for the
Eliot-Pearson School at Tufts University, raising funds for their
Children’s School (later to become a doctorate-awarding department of
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