Debbie LeeKeenan

Debbie LeeKeenan

Debbie LeeKeenan is a lecturer, consultant, and author, currently residing in Seattle, Washington. Debbie is Chinese-American, the child of first-generation immigrant working-class parents who grew up in New York City, and is part of a multi-racial family. She was director of the Eliot-Pearson Children’s School at Tufts University in Medford, MA from 1996 to 2013. In addition to teaching in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University, she has been a member of the early childhood faculty at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and she is a former preschool, special education and elementary school teacher. She consults and lectures locally, nationally and internationally. Debbie is a co-producer with John Nimmo of the film, Reflecting on Anti-bias Education in Action: The Early Years, released in April 2021. Her co-authored books include: From Survive to Thrive:  A Director’s Guide for Leading an Early Childhood Program and Leading Anti-bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change.  Her other publications include chapters and articles in Young Children, Voices of the PractitionerChild Care Exchange, Theory into Practice, the first edition of The Hundred Languages of Children, and Proactive Parenting: Guiding Your Child from Two to Six.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of New Mexico. With professional experience spanning 50 years in diverse university, public school, and early childhood settings in Massachusetts, New York City, New Mexico, Philadelphia and Taiwan, her areas of expertise include anti-bias education, early childhood education, teacher preparation, inclusive special education, curriculum development, project based learning, teacher inquiry, family engagement, professional learning communities and public school partnerships. Debbie was awarded the Tufts University Arts and Sciences Multicultural Service Award in May 2003, the Building Bridges Tufts Distinction Award in June 2009 for her work with diversity, and the Abigail Eliot Award in 2015, which recognizes outstanding commitment to young children and the early childhood profession. Debbie was a member of the 2018 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Selection Committee, which recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people.
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