Barbara Benham Tye attended Antioch College, the University of Illinois (BA ’65, MA ’67) and Texas Tech University (EdD ’77). Folklore research was the focus of a Fulbright year in Afghanistan, ’66-’67. Following some years teaching high school and in a Title III arts program, she became involved in developing the IGE High School Model at the C. F. Kettering Foundation in Dayton, OH and in implementing it at schools in Greer, S.C. where she also taught Secondary Education at Furman University (1972-75).
After completing her doctoral work in 1977, Barbara accepted a position as a member of John Goodlad’s Study of Schooling research team until the project ended in 1980. She and Ken Tye married that summer and spent two years working on education projects in Norway, Indonesia, and Dubai.
Barbara Tye joined the Chapman faculty in 1983 and retired with emeritus status in 2008, but continued to teach part time in the MA and PhD programs until 2016. While at Chapman, her primary research interests were in the areas of global education, school change, and deep structure theory. The books for which she is best known are Multiple Realities: A Study of 13 American High Schools (’85), Global Education: A Study of School Change (’92), and Hard Truths: Uncovering the Deep Structure of Schooling (2000).
Ken died in June 2015, and Barbara moved to northern California in December 2016. She lives at Friends House, a small Quaker retirement community in Santa Rosa, and continues to speak and consult on global education, the current state of K-12 schooling, and deep structure theory.