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Cubberley Lecture Series


In 1898, Stanford president David Starr Jordan asked Ellwood Patterson Cubberley, a former teacher and then superintendent of the San Diego schools, to "take charge of an embryo department of education at this embryo university."

By 1938, royalties from Professor Cubberley’s text book had funded construction of the School of Education and an endowment for a new Stanford lecture series dedicated to highlighting matters of critical educational concern. Dr. Harold Benjamin, Director of the College of Education, University of Colorado, delivered the first Cubberley Lecture titled “The Emerging Conception of Educational Administration” at the November 12, 1938 new building dedication exercises.

Photo of Jill Biden speaking over a podium.

Today, the Cubberley Lecture, which has hosted both annual and bi-annual lectures, is well known in the Bay Area community and beyond, with regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized speakers including:

2019 Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and father followed by a panel discussion with leading voices in the field of special education (Heidi M. Feldman, Zina Jawadi, Bill Koski, Elizabeth Kozleski, and Maricela Montoy-Wilson): "The Neurodiversity Challenge: How Passion Drives Learning for All Students."

2018 Jill Biden, Educator and former Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden discusses challenges in education, the importance of access to higher education, and the role of community colleges in creating a strong, educated workforce.

2017 Jacqueline Woodson, Author and Young Person’s Poet Laureate in conversation with Senior Vice Provost, Harry J. Elam, Jr.: “An Evening with Jacqueline Woodson”

2016 Bill Nye, Educator, Author, and CEO of the Planetary Society with Nicole Ardoin and Bryan Brown, Professors, Stanford Graduate School of Education: "An Evening with Bill Nye"

2015 Dana Goldstein and Elizabeth Green with Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education: "Reimagining the Profession of Teaching"

2014 Anna Deavere Smith, Actress, Playwright, University Professor with Prudence Carter and Sean Reardon, Professors, Stanford Graduate School of Education: "Notes from the Field: School and Prison Pathways"

2013 John Merrow, President, Learning Matters, and Prudence Carter, Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education: “The West Coast Premiere of REBIRTH: New Orleans, a story of community, leadership and educational access”

Photo of Claude Steele, Geoffrey Cohen, and Greg Walton on stage discussing.

2012 Claude Steele, I. James Quillen Dean Emeritus, Stanford Graduate School of Education, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, UC Berkeley, Geoffrey Cohen, James G. March Professor of Organizational Studies in Education and Business, and Greg Walton, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Stanford University: “Stereotype Threat: A Close Encounter – See it, Feel it, Fix it”

2011 Deborah Stipek, I. James Quillen Dean, Stanford School of Education, Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Dean, University of Michigan School of Education, Pam Grossman, Professor, Stanford School of Education, and Steven Farr, Chief Knowledge Officer at Teach for America: “Does Teacher Education Have a Future?”

Photo of Diane Ravitch and Linda Darling-Hammond on stage discussing.

2010 Diane Ravitch, author, professor of education, New York University and Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education and the Faculty Director, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education: “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education”

2009 Bob Wise, former Governor, West Virginia, and Larry Cuban, Professor Emeritus, Stanford School of Education: “Raising the Grade: How High School Reform Can Save Our Youth and Our Nation”

2008 Lee Shulman, Professor Emeritus, Stanford School of Education: “Preparing Minds for Chance Favors: the Challenges of Routine and Surprise in Professional Education”

2008 Tony Alvarado, former New York City School Chancellor: “Creating Effective Schools: Bridging the Teaching and Leadership Divide”

2007 Alejandro Toledo, President, Peru 2001-2006 and Larry Diamond, Sr. Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies: “Can Democracy Reach the Poor?”

2007 Donald Kennedy, Editor of Science, and Professor, Stanford University: “Teaching Science: How, What, and Who Decides?”

2006 Joe Simitian, California State Senator and Mike Kirst, Professor Emeritus, Stanford Graduate School of Education and President, California State Board of Education: “Financing California Schools: Barriers and Possibilities”

2006 Alan Bersin, California Secretary of Education: “Reinventing the American high School: Back to the Future?”

2005 Christopher Edley, Dean, UC Berkeley School of Law: “Education is Not a Civil Right, But Could It Be?”

2005 Carol Dweck, Professor, Stanford University: “Fostering Students’ Desire to Learn”

2004 Carol Lee, Professor of Education, Northwestern University: “Every Shut Eye Ain’t Sleeping: Positioning Culture at Center Stage in Learning”

2003 Tony Bryk, University of Chicago: “Lessons from Chicago School Reform”

2002 Guadalupe Valdes, Professor, Stanford School of Education: “Expanding Definitions of Giftedness: The Case of Young Interpreters”

2002 Linda Darling-Hammond, Nicky Ramos-Beban, Steve Jubb and Chris Bischof: “Starting a New School: The Inspiration and the Challenge”

2001 William Damon, Milbrey McLaughlin and Rob Roeser: “Twenty-first Century Teens: Promoting Positive Adolescent Development in Families, Schools, and Communities”

2001 Mike Kirst, Professor Emeritus, Stanford Graduate School of Education and Susan Hammer, former Mayor, San Jose: “The Rocky Road to California State School Reform: An Insider’s View”

2000 Nancy Cole: “The Future of High-Stakes Testing”

2000 Reed Hastings, MA’88, founder and CEO of Netflix: “Charter Schools: Do Parents Know Best?”

1999 Gary Hart, 1984, 1988 US Presidential Candidate: “The Current Status of Education Reform in California: A View from the State Capitol”

1998 Mike Smith: “Measuring Up: Standards, Assessment and School Reform”

1999 Jim Kelly: “Addressing the Nation’s Call for Highly Accomplished Teachers”

1998 Linda Darling-Hammond, Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education: “Issues for Schooling in the Next Century”

1997 Joshua Fishman, Professor and Visiting Scholar, Stanford School of Education: “Languages New to Literacy: A New Use for Late Developing Languages”

1996 Timothy Wirth, PhD ’73, former U.S. Senator, Colorado and past president of the United Nations Foundation: “Global Education”

⟵ Go to Cubberley Lecture page

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