One of the most influential figures in the advancement of school education and teacher training, Ernest Leroy Boyer didn’t initially intend to get into teacher training. Born in Dayton, Ohio in 1928 Dr. Boyer first completed a doctoral degree at Loyola University and worked as a professor of speech pathology and audiology. From there he moved to the position of Director of the Western College Association’s Commission to Improve the Education of Teachers in 1962. He then continued on to roles in administrative management of universities, eventually reaching the role of Chancellor of the SUNY (State University of New York) system of campuses in 1970.
Far from being just an administrative leader, Ernest Boyer also worked to develop a better format for teacher education and training. His research and study quickly became a standard in creating methods of education where the students were encouraged to develop an understanding of their communities and their connectedness to the educational process. He served as an educational advisor to Presidents Carter, Nixon and Ford and was awarded 165 honorary degrees over his lifetime in education.
The principles that Ernest Leroy Boyer developed focused in on students being active participants in their education. He also created a model for teachers and administrators to use to talk about teaching practices at all levels from elementary school through to university. Community service, thematic learning and creating school systems that worked for everyone were just some of his major contributions.
Ernest Leroy Boyer changed the way that teachers and administrators viewed education and learning. He also focused in on preparing children for school through early education and parents working as partners within school systems. His influence on school education is seen around the world today and continues to be a framework for teacher training and educational development.