1993 – Roland Tharp and Ronald Gallimore

Two California professors who advocate changing the educational environment to improve learning won the 1993 award.

Roland Tharp and Ronald Gallimore describe in their 1988 book, “Rousing Minds to Life: Teaching, Learning and Schooling in Social Context,” a comprehensive approach to retooling education.

Tharp and Gallimore suggest three keys to educational development — activity, context and time. All human activity takes place in specific contexts; to change human activities, teachers must look first and foremost at the contexts that drive the activities; changing contexts — and therefore human activities — requires sustained and persistent work over time. They then give examples to back up their theories. For instance, the book focuses in part on the Kamehameha Early Education Project, a 15-year program in which an interdisciplinary team of teachers and researchers developed a literacy program for native Hawaiian children.

The successful project led to similar efforts with groups such as Latino Americans in Los Angeles and Native Americans in Arizona. It also inspired a second generation of research in the area.

Tharp and Gallimore were co-principal investigators for the project, which began in 1969. Gallimore participated in the program until 1979; Tharp until 1986.

Tharp is chairman of the Board of Studies in Education, professor of education and psychology and fellow of Crown College at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

While in Hawaii, he founded and directed the Center for the Study of Multicultural Higher Education at the University of Hawaii and the Psychology Department’s Clinical Training Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Gallimore is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. Gallimore taught psychology and anthropology and was a research fellow of the Social Science Research Institute at the University of Hawaii.