Passow, Aaron Harry

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PASSOW, AARON HARRY (1920–1996), U.S. educator. Passow's major efforts focused on curriculum appraisal, particularly in programs for the gifted and for the socially disadvantaged. Born in Liberty, New York, he studied at the New York State College for Teachers at Albany, and at Teachers College, Columbia University. He later taught at both universities, and became a professor at the latter. He directed the Talented Youth Project at Columbia (1954–65), which studied programs for the gifted in various parts of the United States. In 1965 he became chairman of the Teachers College Committee on Urban Education and directed a comprehensive study of the Washington, d.c., public schools (1966–67), a major analysis of problems facing public education in an urban depressed area. He served as chair of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Columbia's Teachers College (1968–77) and director of the college's Educational Institutes and Programs division (1975–80). He was also president of the World Council on Gifted and Talented Children.

When Passow retired from teaching in 1991, his friends and colleagues at Columbia's Teachers College established the A. Harry Passow Scholarship, which is awarded to the doctoral student with the outstanding certification exam/paper in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching. In addition, the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children grants the A. Harry Passow Leadership Award to an individual who has international stature as a leader in gifted education and has significantly influenced policy and practices in the field.

Passow published Planning for Talented Youth (1955); Secondary Education for All: The English Approach (1961); Developing a Curriculum for Modern Living (1957); Education of the Gifted (1958); Education in Depressed Areas (1963); together with others, Education of the Disadvantaged (1967); Urban Education in the 1970s (1971); Secondary Education Reform (1976); and State Policies Regarding Education of the Gifted (1993).

[Abraham J. Tannenbaum /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]