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Harold G. Shane (11 April 1914–12 July 1993) was the son of Ben Louis Shane and Grace Susan Gray. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he studied at the University of Wisconsin, where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He continued his studies at the Ohio State University, from where he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees (1943).

Shane began his educational career as a nursery and elementary school teacher, and later taught at the junior high and high school levels. He also was a school principal and served as curriculum director for the state of Ohio. From 1946–1949, Shane served as Superintendent of Public Schools at Winnetka, Illinois.

In 1952, he was named a professor of the Ohio State University, a position he held for five years before transferring to Northwestern University where he stayed until 1959. Shane then was named Dean of Indiana University’s School of Education. After six years in this position, Shane became a visiting professor, traveling to well-noted universities such as the University of Toledo, Ohio University, University of Michigan, University of Hawaii, and Harvard University. He also lectured and consulted at prominent universities and agencies abroad including the University of London Institute of Education, Polytechnic of Central London, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Strathclyde Teachers’s Centre, and University of the Punjab. In total, Shane toured more than 50 countries as a consultant, speaker, and lecturer.

After his domestic and international tours, Shane returned to Indiana University to become a professor of education. He was extremely popular among students who wanted to learn from an experienced and vibrant professor. In 1965, he was named professor emeritus.

His extensive professional writing was a prominent mark in his career. He wrote or coauthored more than 500 books, articles, and other publications that dealt with education. Two noted books were The New Baby (1948), which sold more than 25 million copies, and The Twins (1955) published by Golden Books. These two books were coauthored with his late wife, Ruth.

Most of his writing focused on the future of education, and most of his information and data came from interviewing people. After an interview with the president of Open University in Britain, one of the first universities to provide degrees via distance learning, Shane predicted that the technology revolution would reach U.S. schools. He was one of the first and strongest advocates of technology as a form of education, which was reflected in his book, Teaching and Learning in a Microelectronic Age (1987). Because he foresaw the evolution of technology in the field of education, Shane developed curricula that would incorporate it in the classroom. Educated for the 1990s (1989) further outlined the role he saw technology having in education in the future.

Shane advocated a school system that adapts its curriculum to a changing and growing population. The AIDS epidemic, foreign capital investments in the U.S., an increase in single-parent families, and the growth of minority populations were all factors Shane felt school systems should consider. Shane also predicted that physical settings and educational resources needed to evolve in order to accommodate the growing population of older and younger students. He also advocated integrating speaking, reading, writing, foreign languages, and technology into curricula due to their increasing importance.

Language arts and linguistics were two other areas about which Shane wrote. One of his most popular books was Classroom Relevant Research in the Language Arts (1978), a practical book that provided teachers with information that could be applied to everyday language arts education. He also wrote in the areas of education administration, curriculum development and evaluation, and other topics related to education.

Throughout his prolific career as a writer, Shane was active in a number of school organizations. He served as President of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development and was a member of the board of Childhood Education, the National Association for Nursery Education, the John Dewey Society, and the National Society for the Study of Education.

Contributed by Fernando Vasquez, The University of Texas at Austin

Anderson, R., and H. G. Shane. 1971. As the twig is bent: Readings in early childhood education. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Longstreet, W. S., and H. G. Shane. 1992. Curriculum for a new millennium. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Shane, H. G. 1988. Contemporary education in the U.S.S.R.: A conversation with Robert F. Byrnes. Educational Leadership 46: 86–89.

Shane, H. G. 1989a. Educated foresight for the 1990s. Educational Leadership 47(1): 4–7.

Shane, H. G. 1989b. Britain’s university of the air: An interview with Lord Walter Perry. The Futurist 23: 25–28.

Shane, H. G. 1991. Improving education for the twenty-first century. Education Digest 56: 84–86.

Shane, H. G., ed. 1969. United States and international education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Shane, H. G. ed. 1977. Curriculum change toward the 21st century. Washington: National Education Association.

Shane, H. G., and J. G. Mulry. 1963. Improving language arts instruction through research. Washington: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Shane, H. G., and B. M. Tabler. 1981. Educating for a new millennium. Bloomington, Ind.: Phi Delta Kappa International.

Shane, H. G., and W. A.Yauch. 1954. Creative school administration in elementary and junior high schools. New York: Holt.

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