William C. Morse, one of the major influences during the 1950s-90s on the education and treatment of children and youths with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, died 25 January in Michigan, at 92 years of age. Professor Morse was born in Erie (PA, US) in 1915 and spent his academic career at the University of Michigan.
Professor Morse received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1938, a Master of Arts degree in 1939, and a Ph.D. in 1947. During his tenure at Michigan, he served as chair of the Combined Program in Education and Psychology. After his retirement from Michigan, he taught at California State University at Northridge and more recently he continued to teach a course each spring semester at the University of South Florida. During his academic career Professor Morse also worked with important professional organizations including the American Educational Research Association, the American Orthopsychiatric Association, the Council for Exceptional Children, and the National Commission on Mental Health of Children and Youth. Professor Morse received the Wallace W. Wallin Award from the Council for Exceptional Children in 1977, and he was honored by a scholarship created in his name at the University of Michigan where he also received the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Awards in 1969-70.
A chapter written by Professor Morse in a book about Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (edited by Jim Kauffman and Denny Lewis, 1974), included this biographical note:
During his years as an educator of behavior-disordered children, Dr. Morse has served in many capacities. For fifteen years (1945-1961), he was Director of the University of Michigan Fresh-Air Camp for Emotionally Disturbed Boys. He has also been a consultant to the Ann Arbor Public Schools, to the Hawthorne Center in Northville, Michigan, and to the United States Office of Education, Bureau of Education for the Handicapped….He is also a member of the editorial board of the Council for Exceptional Chidlren and of the publications board of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.
Professor Morse’s academic career was marked by publication of many influential books and articles. Perhaps his most widely known work was Conflict in the Classroom, which Professor Morse edited with Nicholas Long and Ruth Newman; first published in 1965, it appeared in five editions, most recently in 1996 [see Sheldon’s correction—JohnL]. However, his first book (Studies in the Psychology of Reading, 1951) and several other works focused on diverse matters in education. Among his passions, he also strongly championed consideration of the humanistic approaches to and affective aspects of education. As author and co-author of many articles, Professor Morse contributed to the scientific understanding of students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. For example, his paper “Personality patterns of pupils in special classes for the emotionally disturbed” (co-authored with Herbert Quay and Richard Cutler) was one of the first to take an empirical approach to classifying children’s behavior disorders.
Long, N. J., Morse, W. C., & Newman, R. G. (1965). Conflict in the classroom: The education of emotionally disturbed children. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Morse, W. C. (1951). Studies in the psychology of reading. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Morse, W. C. (1974). William C. Morse. In J. M. Kauffman & C. D. Lewis (Eds.), Teaching children with behavior disorders: Personal perspectives (pp. 198â€“216). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.
Quay, H., Morse, W., & Cutler, R. (1966). Personality patterns of pupils in special classes for the emotionally disturbed. Exceptional Children, 32, 297-301.