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Frances G. Schoonmaker

Professional Background

Educational Background

  • B.A.  in Elementary Education, University of Washington
  • M.A. in Early Childhood Education, George Peabody College for Teachers, Vanderbilt University
  • Ed.D. in Curriculum Theory and Development

Scholarly Interests

Curriculum, teaching, and supervision (K-12): history, theory and practice. Teacher preparation. Caring and values education. International education.  Religious education.

Selected Publications

  •  Clayton, C. & Schoonmaker, F.  (2007).  What holds academically able teachers in the profession?  A study of three teachers.  Teachers and Teaching: Theory Into Practice. 13 (3):247-267.
  •  Schoonmaker, F.  (2007).   One size doesn’t fit all: Reopening the research-practice connection.  Theory Into Practice. 46 (4):264-271.
  • Schoonmaker, F. (2002). "Growing Up" teaching: From personal knowledge to professional practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Schoonmaker, F. (2002).  The place of theory in a practical profession.  In B.I. Cohen & A. Ofek, Essays in education and Judaism in honor of Joseph S. Lukinsky. JTS Press.
  • Schoonmaker. F.  (2001). Curriculum making, models, practices and issues: A knowledge fetish?
    In L. Corno,  Ed., 100th Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

biographical information

In 2009 Frances Schoonmaker was awarded the title Professor Emeritus.  Professor Schoonmaker now resides in Baltimore, MD and continues to work for the College on international projects and as a consultant in curriculum and teaching.  She is particularly interested in education in under-served areas and considers her real expertise to be working with local people to design programs that meet their needs.  
Professor Schoonmaker served as Director of the Pre-service Program in Elementary Education from 1983-2001.  She built the program from 11 students in 1983 to 90+ students, with the program ranking as one of the highest in the U.S. She created a Co-Directorship in 1981.  She was a founding member of TC’s Professional Development Partnership with the New York City Board of Education and Teachers Union.

Professor Schoonmaker has taught, lectured, and consulted internationally, particularly in China where she was Visiting Professor at Nanjing Normal University in 1998 and was awarded the title Concurrent Professor in the Institute of Moral Education at NJNU. 
She was a member of the Teachers College, Columbia University, UNICEF and Ministry of Education of the Transitional Islamic Republic of Afghanistan team, leading the teacher education initiative.  She collaborated with Afghan teacher educators in developing Standards for Primary School Practice and a template for design of a variety of teacher education delivery models as divergent as university-based and 9th-grade emergency preparation programs. 
Working with Teachers College and the Queen Rania Teacher Academy, she led a collaborative group of Jordanian educators in designing a curriculum for teacher induction to train new teachers without previous teacher preparation prior to and during their first year of teaching. 
Professor Schoonmaker has  taught in TC's program in Japan and lectured in Mexico and India.  In 2005 she was Visiting Scholar at York University, Heslington and Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Education, University of London in 1990.
Professor Schoonmaker has taught courses in curriculum and instructional design, supervision of instruction, curriculum and teaching history, research and theory including the department’s doctoral core.  She has guided the department’s advanced dissertation seminar and a numerous research seminars, including one on spirituality and children’s literature.
An active member of the Teacher's College community, Professor Schoonmaker served on numerous committees and task forces. She was Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee from 1999-2003 and has served on the Education Committee of the Columbia University Senate and as Chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee.  Her involvement in professional organizations includes serving as secretary of Division B (the curriculum division) of the American Educational Research Association.  AERA offices also included serving as chair the Committee on Freedom of Inquiry and Human Rights and chair of the SIG in Instructional Supervision.  She was a member of  the Editorial Board of The Journal of Curriculum and Supervision for the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development and of the Teachers College Press Editorial Board.
Professor Schoonmaker is a graduate of The University of Washington and holds the MA from George Peabody College, Vanderbilt University and the EdD from Teachers College, Columbia University.  She was a member of the Department of Curriculum from 1983-2009.  A native of Oklahoma, she taught elementary school in the Pacific Northwest, Tennessee, and Maryland before coming to New York in 1980. 

service to the college and university

Teachers College Committees

  • Faculty Advisory Committee, 2007-   Chair of FAC Autumn 2007, Autun 2008-
  • University Senate, 2003-2004, member of Education committee
  • Faculty Executive Committee, 1985-87, 1991-1994, 1999-2001
        Department Representative and Chair of FEC 1999
        Sub-committee on Academic Programs, Co-Chair, 1991-1994
  • Teacher Education Policy Committee, standing member until 1999
        Sub-committee on The Professional Development School
  • Professional Development School Executive Committee, standing member until 1999
  • Search Committee, Chair, Department of Curriculum and Teaching professorial line in Learning
        Disabilities, 1997-1998
  • Search Committee, Chair; Department of Curriculum and Teaching professorial line in Curriculum Theory
        1996-1997, 1995-96 (member of committee)
  • Doctorate in Education Committee, 1990-1997
        Task Force to Review Permissions to Recruit New Faculty, Chair, Spring 1992
  • Hollis Caswell Memorial Curriculum Conference, Co-chair of the Program Committee, 1989
    College Policy Council, 1985-1987 (member)
    Curriculum and Teaching 50th Anniversary Committee, 1987-1988
    Institutional Representative, American Association of College Teachers of Education, 1988

Other Services to TC

  • Teachers College Press. Editorial Board, 1990-present.
  • The Teachers College Record. Associate Book Review Editor, 1988-1990.
  • Teachers College in Japan Program. Professor, Summer 1992, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2001
  • Summer Institute on Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University, Director and Keynote Speaker, 1984-1998.
  • Soka University and Teachers College. Education for Global Citizenship, address by Daisaku Ikeda. Panel moderator and introduction of Mr. Ikeda, Founder of Soka University and Soka Gakkai International; Coordinated arrangements between Teachers College and Mr. Ikeda, June 13, 1996.
  • Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary, and Christianity and Crisis. Communicating Values in the Media, Conference Lecturer, November 1991.
  • Teachers College, Columbia University. ABC Workshop on TSL and TFL, Supervision of Language Teachers, Instructor, June 1984.

service and work outside nyc


Editorial Board, The Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 1994
Professional Development Schools Network, NCREST, 1992-1999
National Council of Churches of Christ, Curriculum Theory and Research Committee, 1996-2001
Grant Application Review, FY 1991 Field-Initiated Studies grants competition, The U.S. Department of Education, August 1991.
Northeast Regional Holmes Group, Committee on By-Laws and Membership, 1988-1989
Advisory Board, Scarsdale Teacher Institute, 1986-1998

Major Consulting Activities outside NYC
  • Teachers College in Jordan project, 2008-
  • Teachers College in Afghanistan project, 2004-2005.  Coordinated standards for teaching in primary schools and teacher education curriculum projects.
  • East China Normal University.  Department of Early Childhood Education, faculty research seminar.  July 2005.
  • Aesthetic Education Institute of Utica New York, Curriculum. Planning workshop with artists, teachers and Institute Director, 1996.
  • The New York State Association of Independent Schools. Self renewal through self reflection, workshop presented at the Conference for Division Heads of NYSAIS, Monhonk Mountain House, New York, January 1993.
  • Scarsdale Union Free Public Schools and Scarsdale Teachers Institute, Scarsdale, New York. Teacher Mentoring Program for Beginning Teachers, Included consultation, program design, support seminar for mentors, teaching courses in supervision and action research, Spring 1986-1990.
  • Frankford Avenue Baptist Church Preschool, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Workshop on Teaching Preschool Children in the inner city preschool/day care context, July 1986.
  • Lloyd Harbor Public Schools, Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Consultant on Supervision and Evaluation of Teachers, Spring 1986.
  • Institutio Mexicano-Northamericano de Relaciones Culturales, Mexico City. Consultant and Lecturer on Supervision and Evaluation of Teachers, January 1985.
  • Northampton Area Community College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Consultant and Keynote Speaker, Faculty Professional Development Meeting, January 1983.
  • Judson Association Kindergarten Teachers, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Workshop Leader and Keynote Speaker, June 1980.

service and work in nyc

Work in NYC Public Schools
  • Founding member of Professional Development School Partnership with District 3, United Federation of Teachers and Teachers College, Columbia University, member of the Executive Committee of the PDS through 2002.
  • Supervision of student teachers in NYC public schools, 1982-2002.
  • Co-taught Supervision of Instruction with teachers from PDS Partnership at PS 87.

Committee/Services in the Community

  • Board of Trustees, The Collegiate School of New York, 1995-1998.
  • Consistory, The Collegiate Church of New York, 1992-1998.
  • Board of Trustees, Plaza Head Start, 410 West 40th, New York, New York, 1987-1992.
  • Chair, Parent Association, The Barnard School, 1987-1988.

Major Consulting Activities in NYC

  • Graffiti Baptist Center, New York, Consultant, includes periodic staff development seminars for faculty who work with street children on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, summer training sessions for college student summer volunteers, and planning meetings, pro bono.
  • The Lincoln Center Institute, Teachers College and Project Zero of Harvard Project, head of curriculum writing team for the Lincoln Center Aesthetic Education Curriculum. Included periodic presentations to the Aesthetic Education Institute directors and team members, 1991-1998.
  • The Collegiate School of New York. Consultant on Supervision and Teacher Evaluation. Included leading seminars for Department Heads, 1997-1998, pro bono.
  • Hunter College of the City University of New York. External Review Team, Academic Programs in the Division of Programs in Education: Special Education, Curriculum and Teaching, and Educational Foundations and Counseling Programs. March 1996.
  • New York City Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (NYCASCD), Member of Panel, Your Values, My Values, Whose Values? Third Annual Conference, Saturday, April 30, 1994.
  • Community Foundation for Jewish Education, Workshop for Hebrew Day School Heads, November 1993.
  • Council on International Educational Exchange, New York, seminars on American education for visiting international scholars, 1991.
  • United Federation of Teachers, New York City Board of Education, New York State Education, Department. Special Educator Support Program for Classroom-based Coaching/mentoring Program, Evaluation team with A. Harry Passow, 1986-1990.
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, Department of Pediatrics. The Asthma Self-Management Project, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health. Consultant, 1983-1984.
  • The Calhoun School of New York. Curriculum Evaluator for the Language Arts Curriculum (K-12),

principal publications

Journal Articles
  • Schoonmaker, F. (forthcoming).  “Only those who see take off their shoes: Classrooms as spiritual spaces.  Teachers College Record.
  • Clayton, C. & Schoonmaker, F.  (2007).  What holds academically able teachers in the profession?  A study of three teachers.  Teachers and Teaching: Theory Into Practice. 13 (3):247-267.
  •  Schoonmaker, F.  (2007).   One size doesn’t fit all: Reopening the research-practice connection.  Theory Into Practice. 46 (4):264-271.
  •  Schoonmaker, F. (2006).  Teacher Development Through School Reform and School Reform Through Teacher Development.  New Horizons for Learning Online Journal. 12 (2).   
  • Schoonmaker, F.  (1998). Promise and possibility: learning to teach, Teachers College Record 99 (3): 559-591.  
  • Bolin, F. S.  (1990).  Student teacher thinking: another look at Lou, The Journal of Teacher Education, 41 (1):10-19. 
  • Bolin, F. S.  (1989).  Empowering leadership, Teachers College Record, 91:81-96.
  • Bolin, F. S.  (1988).  Helping student teachers think about teaching, Journal of Teacher Education, 39 (2):48-55.
  • Bolin, F. S.  (1990).  The status of supervision scholarship, Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 5 (3):244-246.
  • Bolin, F. S.  (1988). Does a community of scholars in supervision exist? Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 3 (4):296-307.
  • Bolin, F. S.  (1987).  On defining supervision, Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 2 (4): 368-380.   
  • Bolin, F. S.  (1986).  Dialogue or anti-dialogue? William Torrey Harris as seen through Paulo Freire's theory of dialogical and anti-dialogical action, The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 6 (2): 80-116.
Invited Book Chapters
  • Schoonmaker, F. (2002).  The place of theory in a practical profession.  In B.I. Cohen & A. Ofek, Essays in education and Judaism in honor of Joseph S. Lukinsky. JTS Press.
  • Schoonmaker. F.  (2001). Curriculum making, models, practices and issues: A knowledge fetish?
    In L. Corno,  Ed., 100th Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 
  • Bolin, F. S.  (2001).  The Interrelationship between preservice and inservice education for art teachers and specialists.”  In R. Smith, Ed.  Readings in Discipline Based Art Education.  Reston, VA: National Arts Education Association.   
  • Schoonmaker, F.& Ryan, S.  (1996).  Does theory leads practice? teacher constructs on teaching: top-down perspectives. In J. A. Chafel and S. Reifel, Eds., Advances in Early Education and Day Care, vol.8, (117-151). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press Inc. 
  • Schoonmaker, F., R. Sawyer and M. Borrego Brainard (1998).  Methods of inquiry in supervision. In G. Firth and E. Pajak, Eds., Handbook of Research on School Supervision.  New York: Macmillan.
  • Bolin, F. S.  (1995).  Teaching as a craft.  In Alan Ornstein, Ed. Theory and Practice of Teaching, pp.25-40, Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 
  • Snyder, J., Bolin, F. S & Zumwalt, K. K.  (1992).  Curriculum implementation,  In P. Jackson,  Handbook of Research on Curriculum, (pp. 402-435).  New York: Macmillan.  
  • Bolin, F. S &  Panaritis, P.  (1992).  Searching for a common purpose: a perspective on the history of supervision.  In C. Glickman, Ed. Supervision In Transition: 1992 Yearbook of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, (pp.30-43). Alexandria, Va.: ASCD.

  • Schoonmaker, F. (in review).  Living faithfully: The Transformation of Washington School.  
  • Schoonmaker, F.  (2002).  “Growing up” teaching: From personal knowledge to professional practice.  New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Bolin, F. S.  &  Falk, J.M., Eds. (1986).  Teacher renewal: Professional issues, personal choices.  New York: Teachers College Press.
Books for Children and Youth
  • Schoonmaker, ed. Poetry for Young People series.  New York: Sterling Publishing Co.          (2000).  Poetry for Young People: Robert Louis Stevenson.                                       (2000)   Poetry for Young People: Robert Louis Stevenson. Russian Edition.          Moscow, New York: Sterling Publishing Co.                                                            (1999). Poetry for Young People: Edna St. Vincent Millay.                                      (1998).  Poetry for Young People: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.                              (1995).  Poetry for Young People: Carl Sandburg.  (F. Schoonmaker Bolin).              (1994).  Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson.  (F. Schoonmaker Bolin).

  • Bolin, F. S.  (1992).  Growing up caring: Exploring values and decision making.  Mission Hills, California: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.

C&T 4051: Supervision for elementary and secondary schools

Theory and practice of supervision in elementary and secondary schools. Emphasis is on the role of the supervisor in improvement of instruction and curriculum development. Students practice techniques for improving supervisory skills through role playing, case studies, and analysis of teaching. Attention given to creating programs for continuous professional growth of elementary and secondary school teachers, paraprofessionals, and leadership personnel.

C&T 4052: Designing curriculum and instruction

Application of models for designing curriculum and instruction. Students design curriculum in collaborative groups.

C&T 4900: Research and independent study: Curriculum and teaching

Masters degree students undertake research and independent study under the direction of a faculty member.

C&T 6900: Directed research and theory development in curriculum and teaching

Permission required.

C&T 8900: Dissertation advisement in curriculum and teaching

Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate for each term. For requirements, see section in catalog on Continuous Registration for Ed.D. degree.