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Stiles, Lindley J., 1913-2008



  • Existence: 1913 - 2008


Lindley Joseph Stiles was born near Tatum, New Mexico on July 1, 1913, the son of David William Stiles and Flora (McClain) Stiles. He graduated from Farmingham (New Mexico) High School in 1931 and attended the Fort Lewis Branch of Colorado State College from 1931 to 1933. Stiles received his bachelor's degree in English Literature in 1935, his master of arts degree in English in 1939, and his doctorate in Education in 1945 all from the University of Colorado. During the summer of 1940, he studied at Stanford University.

Stiles' long career as an educator began in 1935. For the next ten years he held a succession of teaching and administrative posts at six junior and senior high schools in Colorado. In 1945 Stiles accepted his first college level teaching appointment as Associate Professor of Education at the College of William and Mary. In 1946 he took a position as Associate Professor of Education and Director of Student Teaching at the University of Illinois. In 1947 he became Associate Professor of Secondary Education and Director of Graduate Studies at the Ohio State University. Stiles was appointed Dean of the University of Virginia's School of Education in 1949, a position he held until 1955 when he accepted the deanship of the University of Wisconsin School of Education. Stiles served as Dean at Wisconsin until 1966 when he resigned to accept an appointment as Professor of Education for Interdisciplinary Studies, Sociology, and Political Science at Northwestern University. He remained at Northwestern until his retirement in 1979.

During his tenure at Northwestern, Stiles taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in public education and educational administration, participated in the planning of the School of Education's Tutorial-Clinical teacher training program, and directed graduate theses and dissertations. He was a fellow at Northwestern's Center for the Teaching Professions and also served on a number of school and university committees including, most notably, the Educational Planning Committee, the Honorary Degrees Committee, the University Library Committee, and the International Relations Committee.

Stiles' professional interests centered on teacher training and he served as a consultant on the development and administration of teacher training programs for various local, state, federal, and international educational agencies. He also served as an educational consultant to colleeges and universities throughout the United States and as an education specialist on government and foundation-sponsored research, teacher training, and curriculum development projects. Stiles strongly believed in the value of applied educational research. He advocated federal sponsorship of such research and, from 1966 to 1976, regularly reported on research developments and trends in The Journal of Educational Research. Stiles developed an interest in public relations work based upon his conviction that the use of specially trained public relations personnel by school administrators could help local school districts gain public support. He also was very interested in the role of public instruction as a means of increasing scientific literacy.

A prolific writer, Stiles authored or co-authored scores of books, chapters of books, and other scholarly monographs as well as hundreds of articles. His writings and numerous speeches primarily concerned the professional and research interests noted above. Among his most significant contributions to the professional literature are Democratic Teaching in Secondary Schools (1950), Teacher Education in the United States (1960), Secondary Education in the United States (1962), The Scholar Teacher (1966), "The Present State of Neglect" (1967), Teacher Certification and Preparation in Massachusetts (1968), Introduction to College: Education (1969), Teaching and Technology (1972), Theories for Teaching (1974), Teaching in a Multicultural Society: Perspectives and Professional Strategies (1977), and Morality Examined: Guidelines for Teachers (1977). Stiles also served as a consulting editor for educational works and curricular materials published by Dodd, Mead & Company and Ginn and Company. In addition to his scholarly works, Stiles published two volumes of original poetry, Moods and Moments (1955) and Ideas and Images (1964).

Stiles was active in numerous professional organizations and held memberships in several honorary societies.

Stiles married Marguerite Croonenberghs on July 27, 1935. They had two daughters, Judith Marguerite and Patricia Ann. For additional biographical information see Stiles' memoir, Cowboy in the Classroom (1979) and the folders of biographical materials in the Stiles Papers.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Lindley J. Stiles (1913-2008) Papers

Identifier: 14/11

Educator Lindley J. Stiles (1913-2008) taught at Northwestern from 1966 until his retirement in 1979. The Lindley J. Stiles Papers fill 47 boxes and span the period 1953-1998. They are arranged in nine series including: biographical and personal materials, general correspondence, reference and research files, speeches, articles and poems, publications, course files, student files, and recommendations.

Dates: 1953 - 1998