Per Gustaf Stensland, a resident of Connecticut since 1969, died on August 7,
at East Hill Woods, in Southbury. Mr Stensland was born in Liding, Sweden in
1913 and was a graduate of the University of Stockholm, having presented a
thesis in economics, under the direction of Dag Hammarskjold.
He received his PhD in Education from Columbia University in 1950. He had a
long and distinguished career in the United States and abroad, in the fields
of adult education, community development and public health education. He
began as a professor of education and head of extension services at Kansas
State College in Manhattan, Kansas, leaving in 1952 to head the Extension
Department at Texas Technological College in Lubbock, Tex. A victim there in
1957 of late MacCarthyism, for insisting on the importance of an unbiased
presentation of social and economic theory, he joined the Organization for the
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and worked for two years in
Sardinia as a community development specialist.
Returning to an early interest in the Northern European folkschool movement,
he visited folkschools in Germany, Holland and Denmark on a consultative
From 1960 to 1967, he and his wife, the former Carol Buswell Stensland, lived
and worked in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where he was the first director of the
Center of Community Studies, and later a professor of public health education.
He then returned to the United States to become Vice President of the Milbank
Fund in New York City, focusing particularly on public health education in
Central and Latin America. At the end of his career, he traveled extensively,
lecturing and publishing on professional education and public health issues.
An early passion for folk music, later led to his innovative use of folk song
in the training setting and his development of a radio and television series
in Texas, on the history of American folk music. Consistently ahead of his
time in the field of adult education, he directed training workshops and
seminars, along and with his wife, for the Newfoundland Department of
Education, Chautaugua Institute in New York and the Canadian Labour Congress,
among others, and was one of the early pioneers in teaching group dynamics as
a tool in training.
He leaves two sons, Ola Stensland of Los Angeles, Peter Stensland of
Stockholm, Sweden, and a daughter, Lucy Laederich of Paris, France.
Cremation will take place at the convenience of the family.
The Newtown Bee August 14, 1998
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