In Memoriam

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Claudia L. Lewis ’30

Claudia Lewis ’30, August 9, 2001, in Newton, Pennsylvania, where she retired in 1996. After graduating from Reed, Claudia enrolled as a student at the Bank Street College of Education, New York City, where she developed a lifelong interest in the teaching of young children. In 1943, she earned a master’s in developmental psychology from the University of Minnesota, and shortly thereafter, she returned to New York to join the faculty of Bank Street, where she taught until her retirement. Her interest in child development led her to study the child rearing practices of other cultures, and she did field research on the children of Cumberland County, Tennessee, and with the Doukhobor families and the Salish Indians in British Columbia. Her strong interest in creative writing led her to study the teaching of the subject in elementary schools, and she focused on that topic for the dissertation for a PhD from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1959. In 1988, Bank Street College awarded her the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters. During her career, she also taught courses at the New School for Social Research and was a national presenter of lectures and workshops. She was the author of 10 books and many shorter publications and articles, including five books for children and two for adults about creative writing, scholarly works on her anthropological research, and, most recently, two autobiographical poems about her childhood. She was also an accomplished pianist. Survivors include her sister, Josephine Lewis Utley ’39, two brothers, and many nieces and nephews.

Appeared in Reed magazine: February 2002

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