Visiting Assistant Professor in Educational Studies
Years at Knox: 2008 to present
Ed.D., 2001, University of Illinois-Champaign.
M.S., 1977, Western Illinois University.
B.A., 1970, Illinois Wesleyan University.
What Students Say
"Professor Swanson is one of the most passionate and thoughtful teachers I have had the pleasure of encountering. He is accessible, accommodating and most importantly empathetic. I have always been moved by how he understands that college and the teaching profession is about developing the whole human, not just the development of a few skills. His classes are the lighting of a fire for what it means to help people in all areas. Anyone lucky enough to take one of his classes will find what is truly important in education and themselves."
-Jordan K. Lanfair, Elementary Education/Language Pedagogy and Culture Major
"Professor Swanson is hands down one of the most engaging, thought provoking, and easily reached professors I encountered throughout my four years at Knox. In the classroom his professional anecdotes and passion for educational coursework made each and every class not only entertaining, but also extremely relevant and vital to the survival and success of the contemporary American educator. Dr. Swanson has always stressed to his students the importance of being lifelong learners, and he truly practices what he preaches by continually researching and engaging in the discourse and problems which surround our current American educational system. You would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated professor, tireless worker, and empathetic human being."
-Alex Schobert, English Literature and Secondary Education Major
"Barry is an incredibly approachable person. He is rarely seen without a smile, and I have heard my peers often refer to him affectionately as the kind, friendly professor who taught them the foundational truths behind differentiation and appropriately meeting student needs. Barry is a very seasoned educator and administrator. He freely shares his many experiences with his students, who are often thirsting for information about the profession to which they will soon devote themselves. He strikes the very delicate balance between starry-eyed optimist and experienced realist, making him a professor who is both inspiring and thought provoking. I have met more than a few peers who consider the profession of teaching to be constantly rewarding, one that is a daily source of joy and bliss. Barry was one of the first teachers I'd met that challenged that idea, in a way that drove me to seek deeper, more intrinsic motivation to teach. Teaching is not a career to be taken lightly, and I feel lucky to have had Barry Swanson to ensure I knew this before I entered the world of teaching. The reality is, teaching is a very difficult profession. Thanks to Barry Swanson, I had been challenged to be sure I had meaningful reasoning behind my decision to embark on this journey, and I knew how to give my students the best of me."
-Bridget Dooley, Elementary Education Major