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Teachers college

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Title: Teachers college  
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Subject: Glossary of education terms (M–O), Lyman Bryson
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Teachers college

"Teachers College" redirects here. For schools that train high school students to become teachers, see Normal school. For overall teacher training at the university level, see School of education.

Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College, view down West 120th Street
Established 1887
Type Private
Endowment US$200 million [1]
President Susan Fuhrman
Provost Thomas James
Students 5,299
Location New York, New York, USA
Campus Urban

Teachers College, Columbia University (sometimes referred to simply as Teachers College; also referred to as Teachers College of Columbia University or the Columbia University Graduate School of Education) is the graduate school of education of Columbia University, located in New York City, New York, United States. It is the largest and most comprehensive graduate school of education in the United States, and also ranks perennially among the best.


Teachers College was founded in 1887 by the philanthropist Grace Hoadley Dodge and philosopher Nicholas Murray Butler to provide schooling for the teachers of the poor children of New York City. The curriculum combined a humanitarian concern to help others with a scientific approach to human development. Beginning as a school to prepare home economists and manual art teachers for the children of the poor, the College affiliated with Columbia University in 1898 as the University's Graduate School of Education. Unlike normal schools, after 1893 Teachers College required all students to have a high school diploma. Its professional teacher education was considered the equivalent of the junior and senior years of college. Many early students who lacked preparation for the advanced coursework first took introductory liberal arts classes, often at Barnard College.[2]

The founders early recognized that professional teachers need reliable knowledge about the conditions under which children learn most effectively. As a result, the College's program from the start included such fundamental subjects as educational psychology and educational sociology. The founders also insisted that education must be combined with clear ideas about ethics and the nature of a good society; consequently programs were developed in the history of education and in comparative education. As the number of school children increased during the twentieth century, the problems of managing the schools became ever more complex. The college took on the challenge and instituted programs of study in areas of administration, economics, and politics. Other programs developed in such emerging fields as clinical and counseling psychology, organizational psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, curriculum development, instructional technology, media studies and school health care.

The area of developmental psychology (mentioned earlier,) has specially received numerous accolades. Teachers College was most famously associated with philosopher John Dewey.

An interesting part of Teachers College was the experimental New College for the Education of Teachers (or simply New College) a progressive undergraduate college that existed from 1932 to 1939. The college used the same facilities as Teachers College at the Morningside Heights campus, additionally the college had learning communities established in North Carolina, Georgia, and abroad in foreign study groups. Using innovative ideas such as extended foreign study, community-based active research, and authentic assessment, a portfolio-based undergraduate learning curriculum was developed which rejected traditional summative grades or the accumulation of credits as the basis of degree completion. This was truly a “learn by doing” experience. The college was closed due to a combination of growing financial deficits and student activism in 1939.The college was founded by Dr. Richard Thomas Alexander.[3]

Teachers College has played a role in curriculum reform efforts, such as during the "New Math" movement of the 1960s with its Secondary School Mathematics Curriculum Improvement Study program.[4][5]


Today, according to its president,[6] Teachers College, Columbia University provides solutions to the difficult problems of urban education, reaffirming its original mission in providing a new kind of education for those left most in need by society or circumstance. The college continues its collaborative research with urban and suburban school systems that strengthen teaching in such fundamental areas as reading, writing, science, mathematics, and the arts; prepares leaders to develop and administer psychological and health care programs in schools, hospitals and community agencies; and advances technology for the classroom, developing new teaching software and keeping teachers abreast of new developments. Teachers College also houses a wide range of applied psychology degrees, including one of the nation's leading programs in Organizational Psychology.

It also houses the programs in Anthropology (Anthropology and Education, and Applied Anthropology—the latter with the Anthropology Department of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia, originally founded by Franz Boas). It was foundational in the development of the field of Anthropology and Education. By the 1930s, Teachers College had begun to offer courses in anthropology as part of the foundations of education. By 1948 Margaret Mead started what would be a long association with Teachers College where she taught until the early 1970s. In 1953 Solon Kimball joined the faculty. In 1954 nine professors (including Mead and Solon Kimball) came together to discuss the topic. In the 1960s, these people formed the Council on Anthropology and Education within the American Anthropological Association, and it is still considered as the leading organization in the field.

Teachers College also operates the Community English Program, a year-round English-Language school open to all English-Language learners in the New York City area. Classes are taught by Teachers College students who are pursuing graduate degrees in the field of ESL instruction.

While the name Teachers College reflects a dedication to producing quality teachers, less than one-third of Teachers College students are at any one time preparing to become teachers. With more than sixty programs of study, graduates go on to pursue careers in psychology, social and behavioral sciences, health and health promotion, educational policy, technology, international and comparative education, as well as education and educational leadership. Students are candidates for Masters of Arts (M.A.), Master of Education (Ed.M.), Master of Science (M.S.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees.

The student experience at Teachers College is governed by a student senate, headed by the Senate President, followed by the Vice-President, Parliamentarian, Communications Officer, and Treasurer. Two Senators, a Master's candidate, & a PhD candidate, are elected each year to represent each academic department at Teachers College to advocate on behalf of current students and Alumni. The TC Senate meets bi-weekly to determine what issues need to be investigated.

Academic departments

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Biobehavioral Sciences
  • Counseling & Clinical Psychology
  • Curriculum & Teaching
  • Education Policy & Social Analysis
  • Health & Behavioral Studies
  • Human Development
  • International & Transcultural Studies
  • Mathematics, Science & Technology
  • Music & Music Education
  • Organization & Leadership

Relationship with Columbia University

While Teachers College holds its own corporate status (including a separate board of trustees, budget, and endowment) the College is also a Faculty and academic department of Columbia University, serving as the University's Department of Education. Teachers College faculty hold Columbia University appointments; its President is a Dean of the University; and all students receive their degrees from the University. As with the other Faculties of the University, Teachers College Ph.D. degrees are specifically conferred by Columbia University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.[10].[7][8][9]


According to U.S. News & World Report's 2013 rankings, Teachers College currently ranks as the #6 graduate school of education, out of all graduate schools in the United States today, #3 in Curriculum and instruction, #5 in Education administration and supervision, #5 in Education policy, and #2 in Elementary teacher education.

Teachers College, in the past, held the #1 ranking many times, and has invariably ranked within the top 5 graduate schools in this country specializing in education, with other areas of study including psychology (developmental, clinical, and counseling.)

Student, faculty, and guest housing

The university has three residence halls for single students. They are 517 West 121st, Grant Hall, and Whittier Hall.[10] The university has three residence halls for family housing. They are Bancroft Hall, Grant Hall, and Sarasota Hall. One bedroom apartments are available for childless students and students who each have one child. Two and three bedroom apartments are available for students who each have more than one child.[11]

Lowell Hall and Seth Low Hall have faculty housing units.[12]


President Tenure
1. Nicholas M. Butler 1889-1891 [13]
2. Walter L. Hervey 1893-1897[13]
3. James Earl Russell 1898-1926[13]
4. William Fletcher Russell 1927-1954[13]
5. Hollis L. Caswell 1954-1962[13]
6. John Henry Fischer 1962-1974[13]
7. Lawrence A. Cremin 1974-1984[13]
8. Philip M. Timpane 1984-1994[13]
9. Arthur E. Levine 1994-2006[13]
10. Susan Fuhrman 2006–Present


Current faculty

Past faculty



External links

  • Twitter

Coordinates: 40°48′36″N 73°57′40″W / 40.8101°N 73.96107°W / 40.8101; -73.96107

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