Edward Zigler, influential psychologist hailed as “Father of Head Start,” and Parents as Teachers lifetime board member dies on February 7 at the age of 88.
Dr. Zigler joined the Parents as Teachers Board of Directors in the 1990s and was awarded a lifetime membership to the board in 1999. During his tenure on the board, Dr. Zigler continued his lifetime interest in the motivational determinants of children's performance and the influence of life circumstances on children's behavior and development. This work included the effects of socialization settings, child care, schools and schooling, intervention programs and family factors.
Dr. Zigler designed the School of the Twenty-First Century, a national program linking child care and family support services to the public schools, and worked with the State of Connecticut to establish quality school readiness programs for low-income children. He continued his interest in the Head Start program, and completed work with policy makers and administrators to revise the Head Start Program Performance Standards, establish Early Head Start for very young children and their families and design a research agenda. He later worked with Head Start leadership to develop assessment measures.
Dr. Zigler served as a consultant to the Administration for Children and Families; the Administration on Children, Youth and Families; and the Government Accounting Office. He frequently advised members of Congress, Connecticut and other state legislators and the press.