Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Tom Barker

Social Studies: 6/7
Phone:  1-785-832-5450 ext. 4732


This will be my eleventh year at Billy Mills Middle School, and this year I'm teaching 6th & 7th grade Social Studies, which includes World Geography and Kansas History.

I grew up north of Los Angeles in various parts of Ventura County.  My wife, Erin, and I have been married since 2001 and we have one son, Grayson, who is a 7th grader at BMMS, and recently had our second son in May.  My wife and I moved to Lawrence in 2005 so that I could attend KU to originally pursue a Ph.D. in History.  However, my interest changed and after completing my History course work and obtaining an MA in History, I moved to the School of Education at KU where I completed a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teaching, focusing on Social Studies Education. 

My teaching philosophy has largely focused on getting students to grapple with the complexity of the world around them and giving them the tools to analyze the motivations behind the decision-making process, historically and at the present.  More importantly, I want my students to understand, intellectually and emotionally, that their present lives are the result of these events.  These events were created by imperfect beings very much like themselves, who often did not completely understand the implications of their actions.  I am a firm believer in developing skills that are practical, using technology and web-based material in my instructional approach.

BA (2005) History - CSU Channel Islands
MA (2009) - History - University of Kansas
Ph.D. (2015) - Social Studies Education - University of Kansas