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Professor Malcolm Skilbeck, 1932-2022

Professor Malcolm Skilbeck

25 August 2022

Former School of Education colleague Professor Malcolm Skilbeck passed away peacefully, aged 89, at his home near Geelong in Victoria Australia on 17 June. Emeritus Professor Michael Crossley, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Education, offers a remembrance.

Malcolm received his BA from the University of Sydney, an MA from University of Illinois, and his PhD from the University of London. He was a lecturer in the University of Bristol’s School of Education early in his career, moving on to become Professor and Dean of Education at the University of Ulster from 1971 to 1975; Director of the Australian Curriculum Development Centre from 1976 to 1981; Director of Studies of the Schools Council for Curriculum and Examinations for England and Wales from 1981 to 1983; Professor of Curriculum Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London from 1981 to 1985; Vice-Chancellor and President of Deakin University in his native Australia from 1986 to 1991; Deputy Director for Education at the Directorate for Education, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris; and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Professor Skilbeck published widely on a range of issues including curriculum theory and development, education policy analysis, youth training, vocational education, distance education and higher education policy and practice. In the 2014 Australia Day Honours, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia “for distinguished service to tertiary education as an administrator, researcher and author, and through significant contributions to curriculum development and policy formation, both nationally and internationally”.

Many colleagues will remember Malcolm or have used his work as I have in my publications over the years. He had a lifelong interest in gardening and the environment and in his final years he was recognised for this work and for the publication of his final book, Loving and Studying Nature: Celebrating the Earth through History, Culture and Education (Springer 2022).

The University of Bristol and School of Education extend best wishes and sympathies to Professor Skilbeck’s family and friends.


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