Memorial service planned for visionary curriculum leader and UH Manoa emeritus professor

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Don Young,
Curriculum Research and Development Group
Posted: Feb 9, 2009

Emeritus professor Dr. Arthur R. King, Jr., visionary founder and longtime director of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, passed away on February 2 in Honolulu. He was 87.

King will be interred with full military honors during a private ceremony at the NationalMemorial Cemetery of the Pacific. A memorial service will be held atArcadia Retirement Residence on Saturday, February 21, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions to continue his work may be made to the Arthur R. King, Jr. Scholarship Fund through the UH Foundation, 2444 Dole Street, Bachman Hall #105, Honolulu, HI 96822.

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, King‘s grandparents were among the wave of pioneers who traveled from Kansas across the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon. A veteran of World War II, King served aboard the USS Guam as a naval officer. Following the war, he remained active in the US Naval Reserve until his retirement in 1981 at the rank of Captain after 37 years of service.

King was the first member of his family to attend college and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington in 1943. He also studied at the UH Teacher‘s College, and taught at Punahou School from 1946 through 1949. King went on to obtain his master‘s degree and EdD at Stanford University before serving as Director of Curricular Services for the Sonoma County Schools. In 1955, he joined Claremont Graduate School as an associate professor of education where he remained until 1965.

King returned to the UH Manoa in 1965 as a member of the research faculty in the College of Education. In 1966, he and John A. Brownell produced their groundbreaking book, The Curriculum and the Disciplines of Knowledge: A Theory of Curriculum. King was a visionary leader responsible for reorganizing and repurposing the University Laboratory School to create a center for curriculum development. The center he created and directed for nearly forty years was based on the notion of the classroom as a community of scholars, and cast each student into the role of authentic practitioner. The work that he led, and that CRDG continues to do, has resulted in cutting edge research, curricula based on inquiry within the disciplines of knowledge, and professional development programs that have impacted generations of educators in Hawaiʻi and around the world.

King was an active member of the Arcadia Retirement Community and devoted to his family. He is survived by his wife of sixty-four years, Mildred King; three children, Marsha, Nancy, and David; four grandchildren, Daniel, Erin, Adam, and Caitlin; and six great grandchildren, Payton, Darren, Claire, Madeline, Emmaline, and Wilson. He is also survived by his sister, Faye McGrath, four nephews, a niece and many friends.