The Hilda Taba award is yet another acknowledgement of Baron's productive and illustrious career. After attending UCLA and the University of Nairobi in Kenya and receiving his B.A. from UCI, Baron began his educational career working in low-SES schools at both the elementary and secondary level as a member of the National Teacher Corps program. He went on to teach at the elementary, middle and high school level before serving as a school principal at both the elementary and middle school level. In 1989, Baron received his teaching credential from UCI.
As a principal, Baron led South Lake Middle School in the Irvine Unified School District to No. 1 in the OC Register's ranking of all middle schools in Orange County. South Lake was the only school to be ranked in the top three for the first four years the paper compiled such rankings, based on a review of state-mandated educational data.
"Bruce is so deserving of this award," said Jerome Judd, UCI Single Subject Supervisor for English. "He has had such a positive influence on so many students and teachers at the elementary, secondary, and university levels and such an impact on our educational community."
In the 1980s-90s, Baron was actively engaged in multicultural education and acted as a consultant to address and ameliorate inter-ethnic tensions that existed at secondary schools throughout Southern California. His work was recognized by the Orange County Human Relations Commission with a Certificate of Commendation in recognition of “contributions and efforts to cultivate genuine understanding and appreciation for the ideals of equality, human rights and justice.”
Baron also co-authored the book, What Did You Learn In School Today: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting the Best Possible Education, which was published by Warner Books and endorsed by groups including the College Board, National PTA, and the National Institute for Education. The book was later adopted by the Consumers’ Union and published by Consumer Reports Magazine as their parent guide to Education in the United States.
Baron will be honored and presented with his award at the 59th California Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference in Costa Mesa, Friday, February 28.
The Hilda Taba Award is named for Hilda Taba, a university professor at San Francisco State University who significantly influenced education and is internationally renowned for her work in “concept development” in the social studies.