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John Lester De Beer Collection



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John Lester De Beer Collection, 1931-1975 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

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Collection Overview

Title: John Lester De Beer Collection, 1931-1975

ID: COLL/472

Primary Creator: De Beer, John Lester (1910-1995)

Extent: 4.25 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description


Professor of education at Calvin College. The collection includes pamphlets, papers, workshop materials, articles, course materials, lectures, teacher resource materials, exams, and information on education organizations.

Biographical Note

John Lester De Beer was born on September 1, 1910 in Jenison, Michigan. De Beer decided to pursue a career in education so he enrolled at Montclair State Teachers College in New Jersey. He graduated with his bachelor's degree in 1932. From 1932 to 1948. De Beer began his career as a teacher and principal. He taught all levels from elementary to high school students. In 1936 he earned his master's degree from Columbia University and Teachers College. From 1940 to 1942 he also worked part-time as an assistant professor at New Jersey State Teacher College in Paterson, and as a part-time associate professor at the New Jersey State Teacher College in Newark from 1942-48.

In 1948 De Beer accepted a faculty position at Calvin College. He became an instructor in the elementary education program in their education department. Once he earned his Ph.D. in education from Columbia University, he became an associate professor at Calvin College. He soon became the Dean of Students, serving from 1952-54. He became a full professor in the education department in 1956. After 29 years at Calvin, he retired in 1977. During his career at Calvin, he was not only greatly involved with the education department, but also in the Audio-Visual Department, which he helped developed near the beginning of his career at Calvin. Despite retiring, De Beer continued to volunteer in the college's Audio-Visual department for another 18 years.

During the course of his career, De Beer was involved in numerous committees both on local and state levels. He served as a council member of the New Jersey Education Association, Planning Committee of the Grand Rapids Public Schools, and the Oakdale Christian School, and the State of Michigan Advisory Committee on Teacher Education. He even served as a consultant to the National Union of Christian School and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. He also contributed to the denomination as an elder, Sunday School Teacher, and on the Synodical Committee on Sunday School material.

De Beer wrote numerous articles for education journals and magazines. He even found time to publish a number of books, manuals, and monographs on various subjects, including education philosophy and audio-visual education. At the age of 84, John L. De Beer passed away due to a brief illness. He was married to Anne Heyns, and together they had 2 daughters.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Inventory],
[Series 2: Addendum],

Series 2: Addendum
Folder 8: Travel Journal --- 1937
Folder 9: Paper, "A Program for the Master's Degree in the Administration of the Elementary School at Calvin College" --- 1951

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Inventory],
[Series 2: Addendum],

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