School 09

Daniel Tanner

September 22, 1926 ~ September 23, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old

Daniel Tanner Obituary

Daniel Tanner was born September 22, 1926 in New York City, and passed away on September 23, 2023, at the age of 97, surrounded by loved ones at his residence in Somerset, New Jersey. Educator, author, historian, and philanthropist, Professor Tanner’s love and commitment to education will live on through his works. He was awarded a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1955, where he was awarded the position of University Fellow. His earlier degrees were granted at Michigan State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science with Honors in 1949, and a Master of Science in 1952.

Dr. Tanner served on the faculties of Purdue and Northwestern Universities, and retired Professor Emeritus from Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education, where he taught from 1996-2010, and where he established the doctoral program in Curriculum Studies.

Author of 15 books on education, including Schools for Youth, Change and Challenge, Crusade for Democracy, Progressive Education at the Crossroads, and co-author with Laurel Tanner of History of the School Curriculum (editions in English and Chinese), and four editions of Curriculum Development: Theory into Practice, which has been translated into a number of languages. He also edited and added a foreword to a new edition of John Dewey’s Sources of a Science of Education. The book was published by the Daniel Tanner Foundation in English and French.

He was the author of numerous articles in professional journals as well as The Atlantic, the New York Times, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and Education Week. Professor Tanner lectured at universities throughout the world including England, Germany, the Czech Republic, the People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of South Africa. He was President Emeritus of the John Dewey Society for the Study of Education and Culture, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Founding Fellow of the American Educational Research Association where he received the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Professors of Education.

In 2010, Dr. Tanner established an educational foundation. Since its founding, The Daniel Tanner Foundation has supported hands-on curriculum programs in schools in New Jersey and California. The Foundation sponsors The High School Journal (University of North Carolina Press) and supported Education and Culture for the John Dewey Society, and in 2018 bestowed an endowment to support the High School Internship Program in Public Health at the Cleveland Clinic. It also supports an internship program for high school students and undergraduate students in medical research at the University of South Florida and national conferences on educational reform at the Bloustein School of Public Policy at Rutgers University, including research grants on school improvement. In 2022, the Daniel Tanner Foundation also established at Rutgers the endowed Student Study Room and special book collection on the history of progressive education in the 20th century, with the latter located in the main library. Most recently, Professor Tanner’s Foundation established an Endowed Chair at Ohio State University in Adolescence and Democracy. The Foundation also supported the renovation of the Joseph Krauskopf Memorial Library in Delaware Valley University, PA.

With the philosopher John Dewey, Daniel Tanner believed that “No education – or anything else for that matter – is progressive unless it is making progress.”

He married Laurel Jacobson, July 11, 1948. She passed away in 2013.


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