B.A. in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts, 1969; Teacher Credential, 1970; Ed.D. in Educational Administration, 1999
School of Education
September 1, 2008
Dedication to the Arts and to Education Has Guided Dr. Burge’s Personal and Professional Lives
In 1964, Dr. Kim Burge, then a student at Newport Harbor High School, saw the President of the United States, Lyndon Johnson, when he presided over the UC Irvine campus groundbreaking. She remembers how he seemed to tower over the other dignitaries and he was even more handsome than his photos had shown. She could not have known that five years later she would graduate with the Charter Class and that by 2008 she would have spent much of her adult life studying and teaching at UCI.
Dr. Burge’s first degree at UCI was a BA in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts; the School of the Arts was much smaller then and undergraduates worked directly with “world class” performers, choreographers and artists. She studied acting with William Inge, dance with James Penrod, and painting with Tony DeLap. While she did some commercial acting in the 1970s, and was a long time member of the Screen Actors’ Guild, she found her true calling in teaching. Having earned a single subject teaching credential at UCI she was hired in 1970 to develop the drama program as a founding member of the University High School faculty; there she was the drama coach for many of UCI faculty members’ children. Her production credits included “Guys and Dolls” and “The Boyfriend”; major productions were held in the school multipurpose room and many nights and weekends were spent building risers, painting sets and sewing costumes.
In 1972 the Irvine superintendent, in collaboration with a professor from UCLA, set out to experiment with distance learning, using cable television channels to teach and exchange audio-video lessons. Eventually each school and UCI were connected for face-to-face teaching and classroom observations. Dr. Burge worked in the project for twelve years, first as a teleconferencing Art teacher and later as a program developer and producer. One of those programs was an after school homework “hotline” where high schools students took questions and assisted children over cable tv with their school work; some of those “children” turned out to be UCI students. In another program groups of UCI student teachers could observe teachers in Irvine classrooms as they delivered lessons then talk with the teachers about what they had seen. This project was cited in John Goodlad’s “A Place Called School” in 1984 as a forward-looking way to deliver education through technology. Dr. Burge traveled to MIT and Harvard to give presentations about the project. She also used the system to develop an exhibition in visual literacy in partial fulfillment of her MA in Design at UCLA.
During her sixth year of teaching Dr. Burge was a Fulbright Foundation Exchange Teacher in a secondary school in Sussex, England. The children impressed her with their worldliness and their parents with their commitment to the school. The English teachers were generous with their time and patient with a young and inexperienced teacher from America. IRA bombings in London and elsewhere were a frequent occurrence that year and she saw first hand how courageous the English people were as bombed-out restaurants and subway stations became a way of life. Once, when the school received a bomb threat, the children were evacuated and the teachers were asked to volunteer to go back in and search their classrooms. The Headmaster offered Ms. Burge the option of declining as an American, but she went back in anyway knowing that if anything happened because a package in her classroom was misidentified, she would not be able to forgive herself, and the art room had a lot of mysterious-looking packages.
In 1987 Dr. Burge was recruited from her position as an assistant principal in Irvine — she had completed her Administrative Services Credential at UCI in 1984 — to UCI to develop courses for teachers in the new credentialing requirement in educational technology. In the years since she has taught courses in arts methods and technology in both credential programs, the Administrative Services Credential, the CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D., the Minor in Educational Studies, and the MAT programs. She earned her Ed.D. in UCI’s Joint program with UCLA, and her dissertation research examined gender effects on the use of technology by elementary school children. Teaching is her passion, and she received UCI Excellence in Teaching awards for the Credential Program in 2004 and 2001.
Dr. Burge’s service to UCI has included joining the founding faculty of the UCI Center for Learning Through the Arts and Technology, Co-Director of UCI ArtsCore, teacher professional development in the arts and literacy, and advisement to the Claire Trevor School of the Arts ArtsBridge (now Creative Connections) program. She relishes serving as a role model for other arts students who might find their calling in teaching; she likes to say that “teaching in the arts is the best job in teaching”.
Dr. Burge’s passion for the arts is fueled by her community service with more than 16 years as a member of the boards of directors for Arts Orange County, the California Arts Council presence in Orange County, and the Imagination Celebration of Orange County. She also serves on the Education Committee for the Board of Directors of the Orange County Art Museum. In recognition of this service to the University she was awarded a Distinguished Alumna award by the UCI Alumni Association in 2004.
Dr. Burge lives near UCI, works in the Anteater Village Community Garden plot, and takes golf lessons at the ARC. Her favorite restaurant for the holidays is the U Club. As a life long member of the UCI Alumni Association she has watched with pride as UCI has grown in size and prestige over the past 43 years and feels privileged to be a continuing member of the UCI community.