Roland George Tharp is a distinguished researcher,
psychologist, educator, writer and filmmaker. Over the course of
his career he has received repeated recognition for excellence and
leadership in every arena of his work.
Tharp is professor emeritus of education and psychology
at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and professor emeritus
of psychology at the University of Hawaii. He is the founding director
of the national Center for Research on Education, Diversity &
Excellence (CREDE) and the Kamehameha Elementary Education Program
(KEEP). His research focuses on human development, psychotherapy,
community psychology, education, culture, anthropology and applied
linguistics. Tharp is considered a distinguished researcher, practitioner
and author in the areas of education, educational reform, and the
development of sociocultural theory. His work spans 42 years.
Born in Galveston, Texas, in 1930, and raised in
La Marque, Texas, Tharp earned his bachelor's degree (cum laude)
at the University of Houston. At the University of Michigan he earned
a Master of Arts and, in 1961, a Ph.D. in social and clinical psychology.
That same year he received Michigan’s major Hopwood Poetry
He taught at the University of Arizona from 1961 until
1968, when he became founding director of clinical psychology training
at the University of Hawaii, where he began his systematic studies
of culture and education. With UCLA professor of psychology Ronald
Gallimore, Tharp won the Grawemeyer Award
in 1993 for the book Rousing Minds to Life (1991, Cambridge University
Press). The book is based on work done during Tharp's tenure as
Principal Investigator of KEEP in Honolulu from 1969-1986. KEEP
was the first (and is still recognized as the best) research and
development school for cultural minority students.
Tharp retired from the University of Hawaii in 1989,
was briefly Vice-President for Academic Affairs of United States
International University, and, in 1990, joined the faculty at the
University of California, Santa Cruz. His principal work there was
done through two national education research centers, particularly
CREDE. He retired from the University
of California in 2004.
Tharp is also a prize-winning poet, short-story author,
and filmmaker. His latest book is Teaching
Transformed: Achieving Excellence, Fairness, Inclusion, and Harmony
(2000, Westview Press). Co-authored with several CREDE researchers,
the book is a summary treatment of what we know and what we need
to do in education for diverse students. He is currently writing
a memoir, and continues to explore the possibilities of a universal
theory of human behavior change and development. He considers his
highest honor to be the festschrift volume published in 2005 by
his students and colleagues, Papers in
Honor of Roland G. Tharp: Culture and context in human behavior
change: Theory, research, and applications.
For additional details, please see complete curriculum
Festschrift. Papers in Honor of Roland G.
O'Donnell, C. R., & Yamauchi, L. A. (Eds.) (2005). Culture and
context in human behavior change: Theory, research, and applications.
NY: Peter Lang.
Chapter 11: Man of Knowledge and Conviction: Biographical
Tribute to Roland Tharp
Lisa Tsoi Hoshmand