Bob Kuklis ’61 began his career as a secondary school social studies teacher from 1962 to 1968. From 1970 to 1972, Bob taught “Problems of Inquiry: Modernization in China and India” and wrote his doctoral study on “Problems of Inquiry: Social Sciences” at Amherst College, earning a doctorate of education in 1973 at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Starting in 1972, Bob served as the social studies department chairperson for nine years; led as principal of three very different high schools for nine years; served as an assistant superintendent of schools for curriculum and instruction in one district for seven years; and concluded his career teaching, consulting, mentoring, coaching, supervising student teachers and prospective administrators, and writing. With two colleagues, he authored Transforming Schools: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement, the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development’s membership book for 2004. In recent years, he has come to know Amherst students interested in educational careers through visits to the College and participation in Loeb Center Education Treks to New York City and New Orleans.
Q. How do you use your liberal arts education in the work you do today?
A. My liberal arts education at Amherst College was essential from my first teaching experience at Pearl River High School in New York. I became involved in the Committee on the Study of History project sponsored by Amherst College and the Newberry Library in Chicago. I taught experimental units and materials developed through this project and wrote a unit, “Poverty and the Quality of American Life,” during the summer of 1969 at Amherst College. My work with the Committee on the Study of History inspired me to return to Amherst to study the Problems of Inquiry II program at the College. My career since then, as a teacher and curriculum leader, has been grounded in the principle that powerful learning and teaching occur through asking questions and pursuing answers that require deep study involving different disciplines and perspectives. In my retirement today, I read expansively, seeking knowledge and ideas through a variety of sources.