Elvin, Lionel 1905-2005

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ELVIN, Lionel 1905-2005

(Herbert Lionel Elvin)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born August 7, 1905, in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, England; died June 14, 2005, in Cambridge, England. Educator and author. Elvin was an influential figure in British education for many years as the director of the Institute of Education at London University from 1958 to 1973. He graduated from Cambridge University with a B.A. in 1928 and M.A. in 1931, and also traveled to America to study at Yale University for two years. Returning to Cambridge, he was a fellow there from 1930 through the World War II years, and ran unsuccessfully for Parliament as a Labour candidate representing Cambridge in 1935. During the war, he worked with the Air Ministry and the American Division of the Ministry of Information. The late 1940s were enjoyable for Elvin, who took pleasure in his time as principal of Ruskin Hall, Oxford, before becoming director of the UNESCO Department of Education in 1950. In this position, Elvin worked in Paris and strove to promote basic education in third world countries. He then returned home in 1956 to become professor of education in tropical areas at London University's Institute of Education. When he became director of the institute in 1958, Elvin found himself in a very influential position because he not only directed programs in London but also throughout thirty campuses that comprised the Area Training Organization (ATO), which was responsible for educating about one fourth of England's teachers. By the time he retired in 1973, however, enrollment was decreasing and the ATO was eventually disbanded. Nevertheless, Elvin made important strides at London University, including establishing a B.Ed. degree. Made an honorary fellow of London University in 1993, Elvin was the author of such books as Education and Contemporary Society (1965) and The Place of Common Sense in Educational Thought (1977).



Independent (London, England), June 17, 2005, p. 44.