Rehage directed University’s Pakistan Education Program
Kenneth Rehage, Professor Emeritus in Education and a celebrated teacher who led a University program that trained school administrators and teachers from Pakistan, died Wednesday, Jan. 31, at the Central New Jersey Jewish Home for the Aged in Somerset, N.J. Rehage, a resident of New Brunswick, N.J., was 96.
In 1959, Rehage received the University’s Llewellyn John & Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
The citation recognizing his work noted: “To the tasks of developing the University’s undergraduate program for the training of elementary school teachers, he has applied his disciplined and yet highly creative mind. Mr. Rehage has shown, at all times, the highest concern for the education not only of his own students, but also those children whom they will influence and guide in the next generation.”
Rehage used his insights in teaching as the Director of the University’s Pakistan Education Program, which was established in 1957 with a grant from the Ford Foundation. He provided assistance to local educators to develop programs to improve education in the newly independent nation.
The program led to the establishment of 43 pilot secondary schools and the educational centers organized at the University of Dacca and Panjab University. More than 5,000 teachers and administrators were trained in the program, which frequently took Rehage to Pakistan and brought Pakistanis to Chicago for study. Rehage directed the project from 1963 to 1973. He also directed the University’s Peace Corps Training Program for Pakistan in 1963.
Rehage developed an interest in the use of film as a means of instruction and for filming students while they were in class as an aid to study how students learn.
After he retired in 1975, he became secretary of the National Society for the Study of Education, which was based at the University. He also served as the society’s yearbook editor until 1999, when he retired from his position as secretary at the age of 90.
“Operating in a basement office in Judd Hall (home of the Education Department), Ken never compromised his dedication to the NSSE. His stewardship was instrumental in ensuring the scholarly quality of the NSSE Yearbooks,” said Kenneth Wong, a former colleague now a professor of education at Brown University.
Rehage also served as Interim Director of the Laboratory Schools from 1984 to 1985, during a time when the governance of the schools was reorganized to bring them under a board of parents, alumni and University faculty members.
“He was a firm leader, extremely compassionate and someone the University could always call upon to do an important job,” said Anne Wheeler, retired Senior Lecturer in Education at the University, who was Principal of the Laboratory Lower School when Rehage was interim director.
Rehage joined the Laboratory Schools faculty in 1940, where he established a student exchange program between the predominately white Laboratory Schools high school and DuSable High School, a predominately African American school. The program, initiated in the 1940s, was praised as a successful effort to improve understanding between the races.
Rehage taught at the Laboratory Schools until 1949, when he joined the University’s education faculty. He was later named Dean of Students in the Graduate School of Education and Secretary of the Department of Education. He also served as Dean of Students in the Social Sciences Division from 1972 to 1982 and was editor of the Elementary School Journal.
A native of Elgin, Ill., he received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 1932, an M.A. from Chicago in 1935 and a Ph.D. from Chicago in 1948. His teaching fields included curriculum and instruction, elementary and secondary levels of social studies and supervision of instruction.
A long-term resident of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, he moved to New Brunswick in 2000.
Rehage’s wife, Laurel Tanner; a daughter, Joan Kleckner, and sons David and Larry; as well as five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, survive him.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 26, in the Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn Ave.