A Division 15 Fellow, Gabi Salomon was well known to many in our organization—especially those who worked with him while he served as Editor of Educational Psychologist. Themes of peace thorugh achievement permeate Dr. Salomon’s scholarship. As such, members of the Memorial Awards Committee are proud—but not surprised—to see Gabi’s many national awards, including the highly prestigious Israel Prize and the German Peace Prize. As important, Gabi’s sense of humor and positive demeanor kept everyone who knew him fully engaged in thoughtful research.
Say Tal Megged and Merav Salomon, Dr. Salomon’s daughters:
It is now 7 months since Gabi passed away, and his absence is just getting bigger and bigger.
As his daughters, he was never a regular Dad for us. His head was always buzzing with thoughts and ideas, which he lovingly shared with us, no matter how young we were. He wanted us to understand what he was working on, to share his endless excitement, “to change the world and make it better.”
This is how the APA became familiar to us. We have had the privilege of hearing about his presentations, about his friends and colleagues, the dinners, the papers, the time he came to the realization he was changing his research focus, and lately his fears.
Our father was a true Humanist and a Democrat. He loved sharing his ideas with everybody. No matter what their age background or status. He did not regard anyone incapable of understanding what he did. He used to discuss his work with us, with his grandchildren and with their friends. He wanted to hear the opinions of the people he loved, and to incorporate us in his world.
It was an empowering way to grow up, which taught us so much about respect, thinking, asking questions, and the pure love of the human mind.
Says David C. Berliner, Past President:
Gavriel Salomon, “Gabi,” passed away on January 4, 2016 after a lengthy illness. In fact, given some of his medical problems over recent years, his continued life was a bit of a miracle, sustained no doubt by the sheer energy of our remarkable friend and colleague. No one who knew him failed to remark on his energy, productivity, intensity, humor, intellect, and decency.
Gabi and I were born the same year, 1938, met in graduate school and each received Stanford PhDs in 1968. We had a rich friendship for over 50 years. I even had the pleasure of co-editing a festschrift for him on his retirement form the University of Haifa, where he spent many of his most productive years. There, he served as Professor of Educational Psychology, Dean of the Faculty of Education, and eventually, Co-Director of the Center for Research on Peace Education. Gabi’s legacy is felt in many areas—the cognitive effects of media’s symbol systems, the expenditure of mental effort, mindfulness and mindlessness, organizational change, the design of intelligent computer tools, transfer of learning, and the design and systemic study of technology-afforded learning environments. But, no enduring effect would please him more than to be remembered for his experimental and theoretical work on peace education. In the last two decades of his life he tirelessly worked to bridge the gaps in perceptions of Arabs and Israeli’s toward each other.
Gabi received his B.A. and M.A. (Summa cum Laude) in geography, education, and psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1966); served also as a paratrooper and psychologist in the Israeli army; and received his Ph.D. in educational psychology and communication from Stanford University (1968). He worked closely with another creative educational psychologist there, whom our Division also remembers, Richard (Dick) Snow.
Gabi was a fellow of the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford (1998-9), the American Psychological Society (1985), and of our Division of Educational Psychology (1983). He also served as our editor of the Educational Psychologist (1991-5), as well as President of the Educational, Instructional and School Psychology Division of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP, 1990-1994). He was an active member of the European Association for Learning and Instruction (EARLI) and both the National Academy of Education and the International Academy of Education. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium; was recipient of Israel’s highest scientific award, the Israel prize; and received the “Peter-Becker-Preis für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung”, which is the highest award for Peace and Conflict Studies in Germany. Division 15 also honored Gabi, as we awarded him the Sylvia Scribner award. Among his many books and articles, is “The Interaction of Media, Cognition and Learning,” named as a “Citation Classic” for its originality and impact.
We will miss our friend and colleague Gabi, who is survived by his wife Esti Neeman (also a peace activist) and two daughters, 3 step children, and 11 grandchildren.
Says Karen R. Harris, Past President:
Gavriel Salomon contributed an incredible legacy of work to the field of education. The scope of his work is phenomenally impressive, and includes seminal pieces on learning and cognition, distributed cognition, the role of mindfulness in learning and transfer, education for peace, and more. His belief in the power inherent in international collaboration among researchers for impacting both education and peace was evidenced in his early work for and support of the development of EARLI and his receipt of the highest award for Peace and Conflict Studies in Germany (an award well-respected worldwide). I have studied is work my entire career, and together with my students will continue to do so.