Renowned educator Fred M. Newmann, 86, Emeritus Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, passed away peacefully on February 10, 2023, surrounded by his family. Born in Chicago January 5, 1937, to Maxine (Goldstine) Newmann and Harold Newmann, Fred grew up in Highland Park, Illinois, with his beloved younger brothers John and Bill. He graduated from Amherst College, received a Masters in Teaching at Harvard University, and taught high school history and social studies before earning a Doctorate in Education at Harvard. With colleagues in the Harvard Social Studies Project, Fred helped create the “Public Issues Series,” case studies in U.S. history that challenged high school students to develop reasoned arguments on public controversies. During his three-decade career at UW-Madison, Fred’s research focused on school curriculum and reforms that foster critical thinking, civic engagement and more equitable student achievement. He directed the National Center on Effective Secondary Schools and the Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, authoring dozens of research papers, articles and books. An Eagle Scout and lifelong outdoorsman, Fred devoted vacations to canoeing, fly-fishing, backpacking and skiing with his first wife, Joy Perkins Newmann, and their children Dave and Julie. Fred was a bluegrass fiddler who, with his second wife Carolyn Hegeler, a banjo player, formed and managed the Madison band Round the Bend. Fred volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Dane County’s deconstruction, construction and ReStore projects, winning a 2015 United Way Community Volunteer Award. He was also an accomplished woodworker and served as a volunteer organizer to elect progressive Democratic candidates.
Fred was preceded in death by his brother John Newmann. He is survived by his wife Carolyn Hegeler, son David Newmann (Laura Ward), daughter Julie Newmann Lucero (Daric), grandchildren Emma Newmann, Joseph Newmann, Grace Angermeier and Charlotte Angermeier and brother Bill Newmann (Rachel).
A celebration of Fred’s life will be scheduled for this Summer in Madison, Wisconsin.
Donations in Fred’s memory may be made to the Habitat for Humanity of Dane County.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
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