Bernard Spodek was the Founder and the first President of PECERA. He is Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he has taught since 1965. He received his doctorate in early childhood education from Teachers College, Columbia University, then joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has also taught nursery, kindergarten and elementary classes in New York City. His research and scholarly interests are in the areas of curriculum, teaching and teacher education in early childhood education.
Spodek has lectured extensively in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, England, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, and Taiwan. From 1976 to 1978 he was President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and from 1981 through 1983 he chaired the Early Education and Child Development Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. He is widely published in the field of early childhood education.