Dr. Leonard “Len” Kaplan (6/1935-1/2013) was a nationally/internationally recognized professor of education in the College of Education here at Wayne State University. Dr. Kaplan was in the field of education for over 50 years and came to Wayne State in 1973 as professor of education to head the college's Teacher Education Division. Prior to coming to Wayne State University, he was a professor of elementary education and director of the Teacher Corps at the University of Florida, and before that an assistant professor of Elementary Education at Buffalo State University, where he received his bachelor's degree. He received an M.A. at Teacher's College Columbia University and an EdD in 1967 at the University of Rochester.
Dr. Kaplan taught and wrote in the general area of curriculum and instruction with special emphasis on the role of the family in education and the relationship of affect to the current issues of teaching and learning. Author of several publications, among his writings are the editorships of Education and the Family and Classrooms at the Crossroads, the Washington Post Education Companion (both Allyn and Bacon publications), Asking the Next Question and he co-authored a book with Roy Edelfelt entitled Teachers for the New Millennium.
Dr. Kaplan’s outstanding record as an educator includes the 1997 Distinguished Educator in the United States Award from the Association of Teacher Educators and the chairmanship of the 1995 National Congress on Teacher Education in Washington D.C. He also received the 1999 WSU President’s Excellence in Teaching, the 1998 WSU College of Education Excellence in Teaching, the 1997 Michigan Teacher Educator of the Year Award, the 2002 WSU Graduate Mentor Award, the National Distinguished Teacher Educator Award from Wadsworth/ITP Publishing Company in 2002 and he served as President of the Association of Teacher Educators from 1993-94. He was a champion and hero of education and the College of Education at Wayne State University.
As a nationally/internationally recognized educator, Dr. Kaplan devoted his career to preparing teacher candidates to educate the "whole child," believing that teachers need to do more than teach academic subjects: they also should help their students grow emotionally and intellectually. To ensure that his efforts on behalf of children will continue and to continue this legacy, Dr. Kaplan initiated the establishment of the Leonard Kaplan Endowed Professorship in the College of Education, which seeks an outstanding scholar to teach and conduct research in the areas of curriculum and instruction. with a "whole child" approach.