Posted July 14, 1999
Ann Lesley Brown
Ann Lesley Brown, a leading educational theorist known for her pioneering, real-life experiments in the classroom, died June 4 after a brief illness. She was 56.
A professor at the Graduate School of Education since 1988, Brown held the Evelyn Lois Corey Chair. She recently had co-edited a major synthesis of research in the field of learning, titled "How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School," published in April by the National Research Council.
She also recently served as president of the National Academy of Education and, in the past eight years, had won three major career awards from national associations in psychology and education.
Brown was in the midst of compiling results on her efforts to improve the learning of some 400 elementary students in Oakland and Alameda when she died. Early results indicated significant gains in reading comprehension and critical analysis. Brown's husband and close collaborator on the project, Joseph C. Campione, is also a professor at the Graduate School of Education.
"She won acclaim at both ends, from those who do research on teaching and from those who teach," said Eugene Garcia, dean of Berkeley's education school. "She was dedicated, not just to research, but to making that pay off for kids, particularly poor children."
Brown's theories about how children learn, and how they should be taught in the classroom, have spread throughout the world of educational scholarship.
Born in an air raid shelter in Portsmouth, England, during World War II, Brown did not learn to read until she was 13 years old. She graduated with honors from the University of London in 1964, receiving her PhD in psychology from that university in 1967.
Brown is survived by her husband, Joseph C. Campione of San Francisco; a son, Richard Campione; a daughter-in-law, Mary; and a granddaughter, Sofia Ann, of Mountain View. Two brothers, Peter and Michael Taylor, live in England.
A scholarship fund named the "Brown/Campione Teacher Research Fund" has been established in her honor. Donations may be sent to Michael D. Reynolds, executive director, Chabot Observatory and Science Center, 10902 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, CA 94619.