Pyfer, Jean

Jean
Pyfer, P.E.D.
Year Inducted: 
1980
Jean Pyfer
Highlights: 
  • Director of the Perceptual Motor Clinic at the University of Kansas
  • 1976: HOPE (Honors for Outstanding Progressive Educator) Award winner
  • 1975: named an Outstanding Educator of America
  • 1975: received Vision Service Award for Educational Leadership in Perceptual Training by the Kansas Optometric Association
  • 1975: received Award for Excellence in Contribution from the Central Association of Physical Education of College Women
  • Co-author of book Principles and Methods of Adapted Physical Education
Biography: 

Jean Pyfer, Associate Professor of Education and Director of the Perceptual Motor Clinic at the University of Kansas, was a well-loved teacher, a strong ally of the handicapped community, and an excellent researcher.  Under her direction, the Perceptual Motor Clinic multiplied their services and expanded their facilities.

Dr. Pyfer earned degrees in Physical Education, Educational Psychology, and Special Education.  After working for six years as a clerk-typist and a private secretary, she received her BS in 1963 from Bradley University and her MS and PhD degrees from Indiana University in 1966 and 1970, respectively.  She arrived at KU in 1970.

At the University of Kansas, Dr. Pyfer taught adaptive physical education.  This field deals with treating perception and movement problems of the handicapped.  Because of the nature of her course, she was consistently receiving new information and developing new ways to use it.  She strongly encouraged open-mindedness and originality from her students concerning this subject matter.  “I’m learning more from my students than they have ever learned from me,” she once declared.

Dr. Pyfer has received several awards for this excellence in education.  She was noteworthy for her “concern about the attitudes of students and a desire to be open and honest with them.”  In 1975, she was named an Outstanding Educator of America, received the Vision Service Award for Educational Leadership in Perceptual Training by the Kansas Optometric Association, and was honored with the Award for Excellence in Contribution by the Central Association of Physical Education of College Women.  She received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1976.  She was the HOPE (Honors for Outstanding Progressive Educator) Award winner in 1978. 

Dr. Pyfer published several articles and papers, and she was the co-author of the book Principles and Methods of Adapted Physical Education.  She has been involved with the Council for Exceptional Children, the Douglas County Association for Retarded Citizens, the American Association of University Professors, and the National, Central District, and Kansas Associations of Physical Education of College Women.  She has been involved in all levels of the American Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, serving several times as President for the Kansas and Central levels and as Chairman of the Therapeutics Council for the national group.  She was also well known for her cardiovascular fitness programs which she conducted every year for KU faculty and staff and the Lawrence community.


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