4 minute read

Douglas A. Phillips (1949–) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

Born 1949, in Volga, SD; Education: Northern State University, B.D., 1971, M.S., 1975; University of Alaska, Anchorage, Administration certification. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Christian.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Chelsea House Publishers, 1974 Sproul Rd., Ste. 400, Broomall, PA 19008.


Gettysburg Public Schools, Gettysburg, PA, teacher, 1973–75, 1975–78; Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, Pierre, SD, director of social studies, 1978–81; Anchorage School District, director of social studies, 1981–99; Center for Civic Education, Calabasas, CA, senior consultant, 1996–2005; author, 2002–.


National Council for Geographic Education (vice president, 1992; president, 1992), Council for the Social Studies (South Dakota and Arkansas chapters); South Dakota Council for the Social Studies (founder).

Honors Awards

Named South Dakota Outstanding Young Educator, 1977; Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award, National Council for Geographic Education, 1985; named Mr. Social Studies of Alaska, Alaska Council for the Social Studies, 1988; Outstanding Service Award, National Council for the Social Studies, 1991; Outstanding Achievement in American History award, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1991; Keizai Koho fellowship to Japan, 1991; Howard Cutler Award, Alaska Council for Economic Education, 1997; South Dakota Friend of Law-related Education Award, 1997; Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Alaska Special Award, 1999; Friend of Children Award, Alaska State Council PTA, 1999; Special Career Service Recognition, Alaska Council for Economic Education, 1999.


The Pacific Rim Region: Emerging Giant, Enslow Publishers (Hillside, NJ), 1988.

Alaska, Japan, and the Pacific Rim: A Teacher's Resource Guide, Alaska Center for International Business, 1988.

India, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.

Japan, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.

Nigeria, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.

Indonesia, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2005.

Work in Progress

Vietnam, East Asia, and Southeast Asia, all for Chelsea House.


Douglas A. Phillips told Something about the Author: "As a child I always felt that my purpose in life was to bring the world a little big closer together. Obviously this was a far-fetched dream and one that I had little notion of how to address and perhaps I never will achieve the 'purpose.'

"I was born into a solid and loving mid-American family with roots going back to the Revolutionary War and beyond. Dad was employed by Northwestern Bell Telephone Company and was an inventor all his life. Electronic and building mysteries were never left unsolved. From the home-made electric snow blower (made long before snow blowers), to our first television, to a home-made travel trailer, my father could make anything. He also like to travel as he'd grown up in a military reserve family and had gotten around the country quite a bit. My mother was the home stabilizer and nurturer that would be the envy of any child. She supported my father's camping adventures as we explored most of the United States. By my eighteenth year, I had seen America first as we'd traveled by trailer to forty-six states and all of the southern Canadian provinces. What was left? The world!

"As an eight-year-old Cub Scout, I started my preparation for traveling the world. I was a stamp collector. Each stamp told a story of other places with interesting people, languages, places, and cultures. By the time I was a young married adult the internal quest of bringing the world a little closer together played out. I was a middle-school teacher in South Dakota who taught civics, economics, and geography. Here I tried to share my passion with talented young folks who possessed boundless energy as they identified and got local governments to pass public policies on issues of importance to them. Bike trails were established, stop lights added, and other issues resolved in Brookings, South Dakota as students took action as young citizens. I love students and teaching.

"But there were other paths ahead in curriculum development and teacher training. Seeing first-hand the influence a teacher has, I wanted to try and have a broader impact. Teacher training is an activity I love, and I have worked with thousands of teachers in over 3,500 training sessions. Most of these were in the United States or Canada until the mid-1990s, when I was able to serve as a senior consultant for the Center for Civic Education in Calabasas, California. This organization has provided me with the opportunity of training in civic education around the world, an activity I continue today. The furthest corners of the world suddenly have had their doors opened to me. Bosnia and Herzegovinia, Kazakhstan, India, Madagascar, Nigeria, Tunisia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Russia, Argentina, Latvia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia & Montenegro, and even Palestine have been venues where I have been blessed to have conducted training for educators in civic education. I was able to facilitate the work of incredible educators from Bosnia and Herzegovinia in an ongoing curriculum development effort that resulted in the first unified civics curriculum for the country after the war. All of these efforts have shown me the wonderful character of dedicated educators no matter how low their pay is. Stories about these teaching heroes are locked into my memory.

"In addition to working overseas, I have an enduring interest in seeing the world and meeting its people. So far the journey has included over eighty countries and my curiosity remains intact; I continue to revisit many dear places and people as well as explore new venues.

"Have I achieved the purpose revealed in my childhood? I don't believe so, but I've come to appreciate that the goal may really consist of maintaining the course and belief that a person can work to bring the world a little bit closer together. The task has gotten more difficult for Americans after the invasion of Iraq and the tragedy of 9/11, but I believe we must maintain the course of trying to bring the world a little closer together. Writing is another vehicle that allows us to be invited into someone's mind and heart. It can form a bridge from the writer to others that can be utilized to bring the world a little closer together rather than dividing it."

Biographical and Critical Sources


School Library Journal, November, 2003, Dian S. Marton, review of India, p. 165.

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Jan Peck Biography - Personal to David Randall (1972–) Biography - Personal