Janice Ellen Hale
Professor of Early Childhood Education
Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of the African American Child (ISAAC)
Janice E. Hale, Ph.D.
Janice Ellen Hale was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. She is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Phale D. Hale. Her late father was the pastor emeritus of Union Grove Baptist Church, a former Ohio state legislator and former chairman of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Her mother is an educator in the field of early childhood education.
Janice Hale was educated in the public schools of Columbus, Ohio. She received the B.A. degree from Spelman College in sociology and elementary education. She received the Masters of Religious Education degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center with a major in Christian Education. She received the Ph.D. degree from Georgia State University in early childhood education.
Dr. Hale has taught at Clark College, the University of California, San Diego; Jackson State University, Cleveland State University and Yale University. Presently, Dr. Hale is professor of early childhood education at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She is also Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of the African American Child (ISAAC), a proposed research center in the College of Education. ISAAC is a civil rights organization designed to close the achievement gap that affects African American children.
She has served as a speaker and consultant to numerous colleges, professional organizations and early childhood education programs across the United States and Jamaica.
She has also served as a consultant to the Children’s Television Workshop program Sesame Street and Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.
Dr. Hale has written numerous articles in her field and has written three books. Her first book originally appeared in the fall of 1982. It was issued in a revised edition by The Johns Hopkins University Press in 1986. The title of her first book is Black Children: Their roots, culture and learning styles. She is examining the influence of culture on the learning styles of African American children.
Dr. Hale’s second book was released in the fall of 1994. The title of her second book is Unbank the Fire: Visions for the education of African American children. In this book, she traces the historical factors that influence unequal educational outcomes for African American children. She further develops her theory of a culturally appropriate pedagogy that can close that achievement gap. Unbank the Fire was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
Dr. Hale’s third book was released in the winter of 2001. The title is Learning While Black: Creating educational excellence for African American children. In this book, Dr. Hale outlines her model for school reform for African American children. She also unveils a plan for the whole village to unite in creating the Beloved Community to support the achievement of children. Learning While Black was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
Dr. Hale has been the recipient of numerous honors such as having been named Distinguished Alumna of the School of Education at Georgia State University in 1982, by Ebony Magazine as one of 50 future leaders in its August 1978 issue on the New Generation, and recognized for outstanding contributions to education by the Detroit Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1994. In 2007, she was honored with a Spelman College Alumna Achievement Award. She received the Spelman College Blue Diamond Award in 2008.
Dr. Hale is Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of the African American Child (ISAAC – www.isaac.wayne.edu). The Mission of ISAAC is to close the achievement gap that affects African American children in order to move them from equity to excellence and to their rightful place of leadership among African people in the world.
The accomplishment of which she is most proud is raising her son as a single parent. Her son, Keith A. Benson, Jr. graduated from Oakland University (Rochester, Michigan) in May 2010, majoring in pre-architecture and environmental science. Keith Benson, led Oakland University to the Summit League regular season basketball championship and the tournament championship for 2 consecutive years. He was MVP of the Tournament in 2011. Keith was picked Player of the Year for two consecutive years (2010 & 2011); Defensive Player of the Year (2011) (the only player in the history of the Summit League to receive both awards); and was named greatest player in the history of Oakland University. He was the first player from Oakland University to be drafted into the NBA in 2011. He was the 3rd player from Oakland University to have his jersey retired in November 2011.
Ph.D. degree from Georgia State University
Masters of Religious Education from the Interdenominational Theological Center
B.A. degree in Sociology and Elementary Education from Spelman College
Post-doctoral research from:
The University of California San Diego
Learning Styles of African American Children
Urban School Reform