Corbett, Edward Annand
Edward Annand Corbett, adult educator (b at Truro, NS 12 Apr 1887; d at Toronto 28 Nov 1964). He did his BA, MA and 3 years in theology at McGill University, completing his studies in 1912. He fought in WWI and was invited in 1917 by Henry Marshall Tory, then president of Khaki University in England, to join the staff of the university. In 1921, Tory, now president of the University of Alberta, invited him to join the staff of the extension department. In 1925 he persuaded U of A of the need for its own radio station. As director of the U of A extension department, he organized the Banff School of Fine Arts (later the Banff Centre for Continuing Education) and was the first director, 1933-36.
In 1936 he became the first director of the Canadian Association for Adult Education, a position he held until 1951. As director of the CAAE he proposed to the CBC a joint project to investigate the possibilities of setting up radio listening and discussion groups, resulting in the launching of the national Farm Radio Forum in 1941. In 1943 this led to the beginning of the Citizen's Forum, which was intended to heighten public concerns for the political, social and economic questions of the day.
In 1944 the Wartime Information Board sent Corbett to England, where he toured the country speaking to Canadian troops about the Rehabilitation Act and educational opportunities in Canada. In 1949 he headed the Canadian delegation to the first UNESCO World Conference on Adult Education, held in Denmark. He was noted for his leadership in adult education in Canada and internationally, and for his innovative ideas, his wit and animated story-telling. Among his writings is a biography of Henry Marshall Tory.