Emeritus Professor Maurice Chazan (1922–2015)

Maurice Chazan died on 29 May, aged 92 after a long illness. He gained an international reputation in educational psychology and special education, particularly in the area of children’s emotional and social development and behaviour difficulties, compensatory education and special educational needs in early years.

He was a member of the Council of Europe working party on the evaluation of pre-school education, served on the board of directors of the International Council of Psychologists, and was a member of the International Study Group on Special Education. In the UK he served on the National Commission for the UNESCO Advisory Committee and on the Educational Research Board of the Social Science Research Council. He was appointed to the All Wales Advisory Panel on the Development of Services for People with Mental Handicaps and was a staunch supporter of the National Council for Special Education, having led its research committee for several years. He also served on the Fellowships Committee of the British Psychological Society.

Unusually, with a double first honours degree in classics he undertook a full-time training course in educational psychology, and then, within the context of working as an educational psychologist in Liverpool, he studied for a BA honours degree in psychology at the University of London. Afterwards he was appointed as a lecturer in the Department of Education at the University College Swansea, becoming a senior lecturer in 1964, and was awarded a Chair in Education in 1976, finally retiring in 1985, although continuing his activities long afterwards.

At Swansea he was involved, together with Professor Philip Williams, in the establishment of the diploma course in educational psychology by the British Psychological Society, from which many trainee educational psychologists in Swansea benefited. He and Professor Williams were also co-directors of the School Council research and development project in compensatory education, which was set up in response to the Plowden Report.

He published extensively on deprivation, social and emotional development and maladjustment. While some of his articles, books or contributions to books were theoretically oriented, others, such as his contribution to the book entitled Helping Children with Behaviour Difficulties, provided more practical guidance to teachers and other professionals. In his teaching and lecturing work he bought the same degree of commitment and meticulous planning as in his research. He was supportive, approachable, humane and trustworthy, and a fine public speaker with a rich resonant voice.

Combining formidable intellectual and communicative skills with a generous and supportive personality, he was widely respected and richly merited the award of Fellowship of the British Psychological Society. He leaves behind his devoted wife Hensha, a daughter (a second having pre-deceased him), and numerous loving grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Dr Theodore Cox FBPsS and Dr A.F. Laing FBPsS

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