Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Britt Hochhausler
An alumnus of Eastern New Mexico University recently wrote his first book. A Disciplined Progressive Educator: The Life and Career of William Chandler Bagley was written by Dr. J. Wesley Null, currently an assistant professor of education at Baylor University .
"I chose to write about Bagley because I think he is a significant figure in American educational history who has been completely ignored and misrepresented," Dr. Null said. "He also puts forth a tradition in educational philosophy and teacher education curriculum that is sound and that merits additional study and attention."
The biography details Bagley's childhood, from growing up in Detroit to attending school at Cornell, and also his professional career at schools such as University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Columbia University . Bagley was known as a demanding teacher who worked to improve the status of the teaching profession.
"When private institutions expand their business schools at the same time that they eliminate their teacher education curriculum, they define teaching as a low-class vocation. I think this is a serious problem for our culture. Bagley would agree," Dr. Null said.
Dr. Null is a native New Mexican, originally from Artesia. His parents were both teachers. "I chose ENMU because I wanted to be a teacher and because Eastern's College of Education had a great reputation," Dr. Null said.
After graduating from ENMU in 1995 with a bachelor of science degree in education, he received a 1998 master's degree in education. While at ENMU, he was a resident assistant in DeBaca Hall and a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
Dr. Null credits his success to three of his ENMU professors: Dr. Kathy Peca, professor of education administration; Dr. Alan Garrett, professor of education and chair of the educational studies department; and Dr. Mark Isham, associate professor of education foundations.
"All of them were critically important to the fantastic education that was offered to me at ENMU," Dr. Null said.
He is currently working on his second book, tentatively titled The Battle for Teacher Education Curriculum: Pedagogy and Purpose in American Higher Education, 1880--1930.
Dr. J Wesley Null