On July 1, George Spindler, Stanford professor emeritus of education and anthropology, died at the age of 94.
Widely accepted as one of the founding fathers of the anthropology of education, Spindler focused his research on how school systems facilitate cultural transmission and aimed to help improve the quality of education through his work.
For over 50 years, Spindler and his wife Louise, who passed away in 1997, taught a Stanford introductory anthropology course together and collaborated on research publications. Spindler also taught classes in education and sociology.
According to professor of education Ray McDermott Ph.D. ’77, Spindler instructed an estimated 40,000 students as a professor and reached millions more through his introductory texts in anthropology.
“The heart of his work was talking to people and writing down what he thought they were all about,” McDermott said to the Stanford News Service. “He wanted to understand them the way they understood them.”