Wellington author and educationalist dies

Last updated 16:54 16/08/2014

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Well-known Wellington author, educationalist and ''devout humanist'' Jack Shallcrass has died.

Shallcrass was a ''liberal and progressive thinker'' who wrote several books and hundreds of articles, the Quality Public Education Coalition (QPEC) said in a statement.

He was educated in the capital and taught for more than fifty years in schools including Wellington Teachers' College and Victoria University, where he was an associate professor.

Shallcrass, who died this week, chaired four ministerial inquiries, was active in the Council for Civil Liberties, the New Zealand Heritage Foundation, the Humanist Society and other ''progressive movements''.

During WWII Shallcrass served overseas in the Pacific, he was awarded the Mobil Radio Award for broadcasting in 1980, a CBE in 1990 and the Humanist Award in 1994.

Well into his 80s Shallcrass, despite referring to himself as ''nominally retired'', was still working in the National Archives ''preparing to write and to contribute to debates,'' QPEC wrote.

He had a ''deep commitment to education which he saw as an essential element of a just and caring society''.

''He is remembered by generations of teacher education students who responded to his deep concern for their welfare and his determination to develop their thinking skills by open-ended debate and discussion.''

Shallcrass believed ''fervently in the possibility of humans creating a better world''.

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- The Dominion Post

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