Dilley uncovers stories from the history of education | EHS | SIU

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Patrick Dilley, EAHE, continues to uncover hidden stories from the history of education

September 13, 2019


Dr. Patrick Dilley

Patrick Dilley (EAHE) continues to uncover hidden stories from the history of education. His current project examines the life of Beverlee McKinsey, a 1956 drama education graduate of the University of Oklahoma. Before having a hugely successful career in daytime television, McKinsey was a classroom teacher; moreover, she created what is believed to be the first elementary-ages educational television for WGBH - in other words, the first daily PBS programming for school-aged kids, in 1960.

WGBH lost most of its materials in a 1961 studio fire, but Dilley tracked down McKinsey’s hand-written history, production notes, and photographs stills from the second season of the show. After being hidden away in the Library of Congress for decades, the materials allowed Dilley to find and interview one of the original producers, as well as some of the students who participated in the daily programs. Although his work on McKinsey is not finished, Dilley’s research formed the basis of an article by that producer that has been published on a WGBH-affiliated website. The link is https://wgbhalumni.org/2019/09/11/the-make-believe-clubhouse/

Professor Dilley’s work has been supported by the EAHE’s Foundation Development fund, the Post-Doctoral Academy fund, and the SIU Provost’s Office, through its faculty sabbatical program.