Aug. 18, 1994
Vol. 14, No. 2

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    Obituary: Robert McCaul, Education

    Robert McCaul (Ph.D.'54), Associate Professor Emeritus in Education and an expert in the history of education, died July 23 in his Hyde Park home. He was 81.

    McCaul wrote or edited many works on educational issues and on leading figures in education. In particular, he was an authority on the contributions of John Dewey, Professor in Education at Chicago at the turn of the century and founder of the Laboratory Schools. In 1959, McCaul was co-editor of the "Dewey Centennial Issue" of the journal School Review.

    McCaul's other works include the book "The Black Struggle for Public Schooling in Nineteenth Century Illinois" (1987), which examined the fight for educational opportunities for African Americans in Illinois after the Civil War. His interest in newspapers as a source of information for historians led him to be co-editor of the book "Annotated List of Chicago Tribune Editorials on Elementary and Secondary Education" (1992). He also wrote about education in colonial Georgia and contributed pieces to Encyclopaedia Britannica on leaders in education.

    Among the research projects co-directed by McCaul at the University are "Interaction between Society and Education in Chicago," from 1965 to 1968, and "A Critical Analysis of Programs for Desegregating Schools in Chicago and Los Angeles," from 1977 to 1980.

    A native of Waltham, Mass., McCaul received his A.B. in 1935 and his Ed.M. in 1937 from Harvard and his Ph.D. in 1954 from Chicago. He was a clinical psychologist at Harvard from 1937 to 1939. He then taught at the Laboratory Schools from 1939 to 1943, when he began service in the Army Air Force.

    McCaul returned to the University in 1946 as Instructor in English. He became Assistant Professor in English in 1950, and in 1954 he joined the Education Department as Assistant Professor in Education and Associate Director of the Center for Teacher Education. He became Associate Professor in 1960 and emeritus in 1978.

    Survivors include his wife, Isabel, and two sons, Robert and Edward. A memorial fund to encourage students to pursue the study of the history of education at the University is being established.