In Memoriam: Sari Knopp Biklen

Sad news from the American Educational Research Association Qualitative Research SIG.  Sari K. Biklen was the coauthor, with Robert C. Bicklen of a classic qualitative research textbook that went through five editions:  Qualitative Research for Education: An Introduction to Theories and Methods, published by Prentice Hall.  She also wrote A Practical Guide to the Qualitative Dissertation (with Ronnie Casella),2007;  School Work: Gender and the Cultural Construction of Teaching, 1994, and Changing Education: Women As Radicals and Conservators (with Joyce Antler), 1990, and many other exemplary works. She will be deeply missed by those who knew her and those who benefited from reading her work. Her Memorial appears below.  — Ed Prof

In Memoriam: Sari Knopp Biklen

Sari Knopp Biklen, Professor Emerita of Cultural Foundations of
Education and Women’s Studies, passed away on September 16, 2014.

“I know that I speak for all of her colleagues in expressing deep
sadness over Sari’s passing,” says Eric F. Spina, Syracuse University
vice chancellor and provost. “Her enthusiasm and contributions to this
University-and to generations of students-in teaching, scholarship,
and service, have been so valuable. The impact of her loss will be
felt not only by the School of Education, but by this entire academic
community and by alumni and friends across the country.”

Biklen, 68, retired from the School of Education in May 2014, after
thirty-eight years of service to Syracuse University. During her
tenure, she served as department chair of Cultural Foundations of
Education; was director of the Institute for Popular Culture, Media
Literacy and Education; and held a courtesy appointment in the
Sociology Department of the Maxwell School.

“Sari’s passing leaves us with a hole in our hearts but she has gifted
us with so much and her influence is deep,” says Barbara Applebaum,
professor and department chair of Cultural Foundations of Education.
“Under her guidance as department chair, the reputation of Cultural
Foundations of Education was enhanced across campus and nationally.
She was a caring friend and colleague and a compassionate mentor to
both students and faculty.”

A revered scholar, teacher, mentor, and adviser; Biklen was recognized
with many national and University accolades. She received the
Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Scholarship (2009), was
appointed a Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching
Excellence (1999), and appointed a University Scholar by the American
Association of University Women (1999). She was the recipient of a
Syracuse University Outstanding Teacher Award (1996), the Willystine
Goodsell Award for scholarship and practice in gender and education
from the American Educational Research Association (1988), and was a
Rio Tinto-LaTrobe University Distinguished Visiting Fellow, in
Melbourne, Australia (1999).

Biklen specialized popular culture, qualitative research methods,
youth culture, and women’s studies. Her books include A Practical
Guide to the Qualitative Dissertation (with Ronnie Casella, Teachers
College Press, 2007), Qualitative Research for Education (with Robert
Bogdan; Allyn & Bacon, fifth edition, 2006), School Work: Gender and
the Cultural Construction of Teaching (Teachers College Press, 1995),
and Gender and Education (with Diane Pollard, National Society for the
Study of Education Yearbook, 1993). Her articles have appeared in
numerous journals including Teachers College Record, Qualitative
Inquiry, Phi Delta Kappan, and History of Education.

“Dr. Sari Knopp Biklen was my mentor, my teacher, and my friend. Her
unwavering belief in my ability to succeed laid a solid foundation for
my success in the academy,” says Cerri Banks ’00 G’04 G’05 G’06, Dean
of the College, Mount Holyoke College. “Sari led and taught by
example, challenging injustice through her scholarship and teaching,
and her commitment to equity, social justice, and education at the
highest levels of excellence was unwavering. This stance and her
advice and support gave me the courage to make brave decisions in our
profession and in life.”

Prior to her long career at Syracuse University, Biklen was Assistant
Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Cazenovia College and
director of its Women’s Studies program. She also taught public school
at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School in Syracuse, NY; and
taught at Hiroshima Buddhist Women’s College and Motomachi High School
in Japan. She earned her Ed.D. and M.A. from the University of
Massachusetts School of Education in 1973, and a B.A. in English from
Earlham College in 1967.

She is survived by her partner in life, Dean Emeritus Doug Biklen
(School of Education), their children Noah (Naomi) and Molly (Jason),
and two granddaughters, Anika and Nora. In recent years, she and her
growing family enjoyed many cherished occasions at the Biklens’ new
home in rural Vermont.

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