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Teachers College, Columbia University
Established 1887
School type Private
President Susan Fuhrman
Provost Thomas James
Location New Yorkmarker, New Yorkmarker, USAmarker
Enrollment 5,087 students
Endowment $200 Million
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 a top ranked graduate school of education in the United States. It was founded in 1887 by the philanthropist Grace Hoadley Dodge and philosopher Nicholas Murray Butler to provide a new kind of schooling for the teachers of the poor children of New York Citymarker, one that combined a humanitarian concern to help others with a scientific approach to human development. From its modest beginnings 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, and went on to become the leading intellectual influence on the development of the American teaching profession. Under the terms of its affiliation with Columbia University, it is the University which actually awards all master's degrees, Ph.D., and Ed.D.degrees to graduates of Teachers College, as the College is Columbia University's Graduate School of Education.

Teachers College, view down West 120th Street.
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. From 1904, when he became a faculty member there, Teachers College was most famously associated with philosopher John Dewey.

Today, according to its president [82342] Teachers College 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, 9 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.


According to U.S. News & World Report's 2010 rankings, Teachers College, Columbia University currently ranks as the #3 Graduate School of Education in the nation.

Academic Departments

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

Presidents of Teachers College

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

Notable alumni

Notable past faculty

Notable current faculty

  • Thomas James, Provost of the College, Former Dean of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Professor of History and Education
  • Lucy Calkins, Robinson Professor of Children's Literature and Founder/Director of the Reading and Writing Project
  • Thomas R Bailey, George & Abby O'Neill Professor of Economics and Education and Director of the Community College Research Center
  • Maxine Greene, Eminent Philosopher of Education
  • John Allegrante, Professor of Health Education
  • Lambros Comitas, Professor of Anthropology
  • Deanna Kuhn, Professor of Psychology and Education


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