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Teachers College, Columbia University

Teachers College, Columbia University
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 for Columbia University, located in New York City, New York, United States. It was founded in 1887 and has been affiliated with Columbia University and the faculty of the University since 1898.[2]


  • History 1
  • Role 2
  • Academic departments 3
  • Relationship with Columbia University 4
  • Rankings 5
  • Student, faculty, and guest housing 6
  • Publications 7
  • Presidents 8
  • Faculty 9
    • Current faculty 9.1
    • Past faculty 9.2
  • Alumni 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Teachers College buildings on 120th St., looking northwest

Teachers College was founded in 1880 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.[3]

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 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 also associated with philosopher John Dewey who taught at the facility.[4]

Teachers College was home to the experimental Dr. Richard Thomas Alexander.[5]

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.[6][7]


According to its president,[8] 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
  • Organization & Leadership

Relationship with Columbia University

Teachers College holds its own corporate status separate from Columbia University, including an independent board of trustees, budget, endowment, and multiple admissions standards; however, as noted in Columbia University's Faculty Handbook, "the Faculty of Teachers College serves as the University's Department of Education."[9] Teachers College faculty hold Columbia University appointments; its president is a dean of the University; and all students receive their degrees from Columbia 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][11]


In 2015, Teachers College was ranked #7 among all graduate schools of education by U.S. News & World Report.[12]

Student, faculty, and guest housing

The university has three residence halls for single students. They are 517 West 121st, Grant Hall, and Whittier Hall.[13] 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.[14]

Lowell Hall and Seth Low Hall have faculty housing units.[15]


Teachers College Record has been published by the school continuously since 1900. In 1997 a group of doctoral students from Teachers College established the journal Current Issues in Comparative Education (CICE), a leading open-access online academic journal.[16] Teacher's college also publishes the Hechinger Report.


President Tenure
1. Nicholas M. Butler 1889–1891[17]
2. Walter L. Hervey 1893–1897[17]
3. James Earl Russell 1898–1926[17]
4. William Fletcher Russell 1927–1954[17]
5. Hollis L. Caswell 1954–1962[17]
6. John Henry Fischer 1962–1974[17]
7. Lawrence A. Cremin 1974–1984[17]
8. Philip M. Timpane 1984–1994[17]
9. Arthur E. Levine 1994–2006[17]
10. Susan Fuhrman 2006–Present


Current faculty

Past faculty



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Weneck, B. (1991). "Social and Cultural Stratification in Women's Higher Education: Barnard College and Teachers College, 1898-1912". History of Education Quarterly 31 (1): 1–25.  
  4. ^ The New York Times edition of January 19, 1953, page 27
  5. ^ George W. Lucero (2012). Begin with the Child, the Story of New College, manuscript dissertation, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois.
  6. ^ Waggoner, Walter H. (May 7, 1982). "Dr. Howard F. Fehr: Author Helped Start System of New Math".  
  7. ^ Fehr, Howard F. (January 1974). "The Secondary School Mathematics Curriculum Improvement Study: A Unified Mathematics Program". The Mathematics Teacher 67 (1): 25–33. 
  8. ^ President Fuhrman Outlines the State of the College | TC Media Center. (November 6, 2009). Retrieved on September 7, 2013.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Organization and Governance of the University. Retrieved on September 7, 2013.
  11. ^ University Senate. (December 12, 2003). Retrieved on September 7, 2013.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Housing Options Single Housing." Teachers College, Columbia University. Retrieved on April 23, 2012.
  14. ^ "Housing Options Family Housing." Teachers College, Columbia University. Retrieved on April 23, 2012.
  15. ^ "Housing Options Faculty Housing." Teachers College, Columbia University. Retrieved on April 23, 2012.
  16. ^ "Welcome". CICE. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i
  18. ^ "Dr. Ruth Westheimer Sex Therapist, Author and Media Personality". Teachers College, Columbia University.  
  19. ^ "Jack Mezirow, Who Transformed the Field of Adult Learning, Dies at 91". TC Media Center. Teachers College, Columbia University. October 11, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2015. 
  20. ^ Trenton, Patricia; D'Emilio, Sandra. Independent Spirits: Women Painters of the American West, 1890-1945. University of California Press. pp. 126–130.  

External links

  • Official website

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