Teachers College: A Leader in Educating Leaders
One year ago, the kickoff gala for the Campaign for Teachers College celebrated the public phase of the largest capital campaign in history for a graduate school of education--$140 million. An ambitious goal, indeed, but not unrealistic considering the $73 million already pledged, the many dedicated supporters of education who believe in the Teachers College mission, and the legacy of what the 100-year-old institution has meant to educational planning and policy-making for the world at large.
Further support from donors for scholarships, renovation projects, faculty, research, and technology has since added $17 million in gifts, bringing the total to $90 million as of December 2000. With those gifts, the work of the College continues to thrive.
From its inception, Teachers College has worked toward social change through education, particularly among inner-city school children in New York City. President Arthur Levine defines the College's mission today with two Hebrew words-Tikkun Olam, "to repair the world." We prepare the next generation of educators, psychologists, policy makers and planners for the challenges they will face in the years ahead. Our students come from all over the United States and the world, and they are most likely to have completed their undergraduate degrees from 25 of the best institutions in the country, including: Brown, Columbia and Cornell Universities and the Universities of California at Berkeley, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
TC has historically carried out its mission in five ways:
1. Engaging in research on the central issues facing education;
2. Preparing the next generation of leaders for education;
3. Educating the current generation of leaders in practice and policy to meet the challenges they face.
4. Shaping the public debate and public policy in education; and
5. Improving practice in educational institutions.
These goals still form the basis of the work of the College today. Through institutes, conferences, outreach, technological advances and interaction with the international community, Teachers College continues to be at the forefront of educational leadership.
Engaging in Research
Faculty That Leads the Way
One of the keys to being a leading institution in educational research is the Teachers College faculty. In the last few years, as part of the reorganization effort, several named professorships have been filled by renowned researchers. The William Heard Kilpatrick Professorship of Economics and Education was conferred upon Henry M. Levin, who heads the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (NCSPE). Levin, who served as the Julius and Rosa Sachs Lecturer at Teachers College in 1998, came to TC from Stanford University, where he was the founder of the Accelerated Schools Project. In his current role as Director of NCSPE, Levin coordinates the objective analysis of the privatization movement in education, including charter schools and voucher plans.
Kathleen O'Connell was chosen to be the Isabel Maitland Stewart Professor of Nursing Education in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies. O'Connell came to Teachers College from the School of Nursing at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS. Her research in smoking cessation and behavior change was the topic of a presentation she made at her inaugural lecture in April.
Most recently, Sharon Lynn Kagan joined Teachers College as the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy. Named a TC Distinguished Alumna in 1996, Kagan has been a senior associate at The Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy and a senior research scientist at Yale Child Study Center at Yale University. Kagan received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College. She is one of 15 new faculty members joining the TC community this fall.
As the new members have joined the faculty in helping TC students to repair the world, others, who have worked many years in research and in preparing future leaders, decided to retire. Professor Douglas Sloan was part of the Teachers College community for more than 30 years beginning in the late 1960s as a Ph.D. student. Sloan, a Professor of History and Education, also edited the Teachers College record from 1977 to 1985. His research spanned the areas of how we come to understand the world to the history of the dominant modern conception of knowledge. He recently coordinated a conference that looked at appropriate uses of technology in educating children.
Professor Robert L. Crain, who joined the TC faculty in 1985 as a Professor of Sociology and Education, made his mark in the areas of school desegregation and equity in and access to education. As one of the foremost experts in the country on desegregation of schools, magnet schools and racial tensions in schools, his research found that desegregation efforts often benefited African-American students who attended integrated schools.
Crain's legacy is continuing through the work of one of his former students, Amy Stewart-Wells, currently a Visiting Professor at Teachers College and the Julius and Rosa Sachs Lecturer. She is on leave from UCLA, where she is an Associate Professor and Head of the Graduate School of Education's Division of Urban Schooling: Curriculum Teaching, Leadership and Policy.
In addition, each year, two Minority Postdoctoral Fellows are chosen to conduct research and teach a course at the College. This year's Fellows, Joya Carter and Detris Honora began their tenure in the fall of 2000. (See sidebar). In the past, several of the Fellows have gone on to join the TC faculty.
Making a Difference Through Research
Cally Waite, a former Minority Postdoctoral Fellow who is now an Assistant Professor of History and Education, and Margaret Crocco, Associate Professor of Social Studies and Education, were awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to study "The Education of Southern African Americans in Northern Research Institutions from Plessy to Brown (1896-1954)." The research looks at the role institutions in the northern U.S. played in the preparation of black scholars for educational and social leadership. Their initial efforts revealed connections between Teachers College and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) such as Hampton, Tuskegee, Fisk, Lincoln and Howard Universities. (See sidebar).
A study done by Associate Professor of Education James Borland with Dr. Lisa Wright, Director of the Hollingworth Center for the Study and Education of the Gifted, looked at the under-representation of economically disadvantaged students, particularly those who are members of minorities, in gifted education programs. For their efforts they received the 1999-2000 Mensa Award for Excellence in Research. The report was the culmination of a seven-year, federally-funded grant project designed to develop innovative methods to identify and serve economically-disadvantaged, gifted children.
Another professor working to help schools meet the needs of disadvantaged children is Assistant Professor Dorothy Shipps. Through her case study of Chicago's schools, "School Reform, Corporate Style: The Nexus of Politics, Business and Education Change in Twentieth Century Chicago," Shipps analyzes the problem of failing urban schools. For this work, she is one of the first class of 12 Carnegie Scholars awarded a total of $1.1 million to support innovative scholarship and policy-focused research in education, international development, democracy, and international peace and security.
Associate Professor of Education and Law Jay Heubert is another of the 12 Carnegie Scholars. Heubert's research will look at "Promotion and Graduation Tests: How Do They Affect Student Learning and Progress and How Can Proper Test Use Be Promoted?" (See sidebar). Heubert was study director on a 1999 report by the National Academy of Sciences on "High Stakes: Testing for Tracking, Promotion, and Graduation." That study has been extensively quoted in the recent U.S. Department of Education publication, The Use of Tests When Making High-Stakes Decisions for Students: A Resource Guide for Educators and Policy-Makers.
Assistant Professor James Purpura's research on language testing won him an International Language Testing Association Award (ILTA) for the "Best Paper Published in Language Testing," for his paper, "An Analysis of the Relationships Between Test Taker's Cognitive and Metacognitive Strategy Use and Second Language Test Performance." What Purpura found was that in order to do well on tests, planning needs to be associated with specific strategies. He also found that, "Everybody uses metacognitive strategies," he said. In other words, everybody thinks. The problem comes about when people think and don't do or when they do and don't think. Or, when people think and do but they are thinking and doing the wrong things.
Purpura said his research could be applied by looking at the test scores in a school to determine the patterns of test-taking behavior. "If you see tests scores are poor, maybe it's because the strategies used in these tests were not the most effective," he explained. "I believe that you can actually train students to be more strategic in the way they approach a test."
Another study that evaluates learning strategies, but in higher education students, is one being conducted by Assistant Professor Lisa Petrides through a $1.2 million grant. Petrides will assist the Foothill DeAnza Community College District (FHDA), located in the heart of Silicon Valley, in the redesign of institutional research. FHDA is looking for an information system design that will allow them to make informed decisions and set policy for student success.
As a way of lessening the performance gap between minority and non-minority students, the proposed system will trace information such as: who completes school, who transfers to a new school, and employment rates of graduates. Using this information, administrators at the college hope to help all students, particularly those who are less likely to persist in college.
Researchers at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, under an extended grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, are examining the roles that community colleges play in higher education. Thomas Bailey, Director of the CCRC and Professor of Economics and Education at TC, heads the team of senior research associates, research associates and research fellows. Some of the issues the researchers have been exploring include the role of community colleges in providing remedial education, workforce training, and programs linking community colleges and secondary schools.
Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders in Education
Programs that focus on teacher preparation supplement TC's research on students and educational systems. A Tenured Faculty Research Fellowship went to Frances Schoonmaker, Associate Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching for her research proposal, "Promise and Possibility: Learning to Teach." Schoonmaker said the grant will allow her to complete work for a book based on a seven-year study of teacher development. She is looking at the way first-year teachers reflect on what they learn and how they develop in the classroom. Schoonmaker is interested in studying teacher development as one answer to the increasing criticism that university-based teacher preparation programs, which promote child-centered practices, do not adequately prepare teachers for typical school and classroom milieu, which often support authoritarian teaching practices.
Blending the importance of teacher quality with school reform and restructuring is the goal of a project led by the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST) and the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF). The two groups are the recipients of a $1.1 million award from the Goldman-Sachs Foundation to improve the capacity of New York City public schools to recruit and retain quality teachers and to strengthen redesigned high schools. The initiative, called the Goldman-Sachs Project, is developing three Goldman-Sachs Institutes for Redesign, Teaching and Leadership that will serve as models for new schools to learn from.
"Our three partner schools are coming in to this project with outstanding track records, and each has received national recognition for its achievements," said Dr. Fred Frelow, Director of National Programs for NCTAF. "All three are small high schools that have shown long-term success in raising student achievement, including growth in the number of students who go on to college."
He went on to explain that a significant aspect of this project focuses on leadership. "Specifically, we want to show policy-makers that the quality of teaching and learning advances when teachers work within a structure that provides more opportunity for staff development, guidance and peer review."
The results of our efforts to meet this goal are apparent even before our students leave Teachers College. Many students are recognized for and supported in their own research or accomplishments in their fields of study.
One example is Ray Marks, a doctoral student in the Department of Health and Behavioral Studies. Marks was chosen as one of three Society of Public Health (SOPHE) Fellows in Unintentional Injury Prevention. Her proposal to examine potential determinants for falls among older adults and look at the short-term outcomes of an intervention program was what impressed the selection panel. She is also working with Professor John Allegrante, her doctoral research sponsor and collaborator, and a past president of SOPHE, on a study funded by the Cornell Aging Center that deals with falls and hip fractures based on factors such as poor nutrition and other physical characteristics that might lead to a fall. The two are also completing research on the role of knee strength and how it affects falls and hip fractures, which is being funded by the Arthritis Foundation. (See sidebar).
Two doctoral students in the Clinical Psychology program also received prestigious research awards. They are Lindsay Childress and Merav Gur, who are members of Assistant Professor Lisa Miller's research team. Childress was awarded the William James Award, which is funded by the Council on Spiritual Practices (CSP). The award is offered to encourage the scientific investigation of the facilitation of primary religious or spirtual experiences. The research she is conducting looks at spirituality and resilience in survivors of abuse among a sample of minority women.
Merav Gur, an Israeli student studying in the United States who works with Professor Miller on the Web site, "Teen Psych," an Internet referral system for adolescent girls in New York, was one of nine recipients of a $6,000 competitive award, the International Peace Scholarship, from the PEO Foundation. PEO assists international women who do research that helps women and girls in areas of psycho-education, education and psychotherapy.
The Web site (www.teenpsych.com) is a response to a need expressed to Gur by inner-city adolescent girls in Harlem and Washington Heights who were looking for a Web referral service that would direct them to places to find confidential, reliable help. Through the site, viewers can find information on topics such as what it means to be depressed or the dangers of having an eating disorder. Gur cautions that it is not a replacement for professionals, but hopes it will provide adolescents with information they need to find that help.
Makeeba McCreary, a doctoral student in Educational Administration, also works with "at risk" adolescents as the Director of GirlsWorld, a non-profit organization that helps young women of color in urban Boston to "envision and successfully pursue choices that lead to productive, positive adulthood." Three non-profit agencies, The Boston Institute for Arts Therapy (BIAT), the Dimock Community Health Center, and The Boston Coalition of Black Women, Inc., collaborated in the creation of GirlsWorld and approached McCreary to run the organization.
The after-school program includes four major components: Expressive Arts Groups, Academic Support, Mentoring and Community Service. Approximately 30 young women, between the ages of 10 and 18, participate each week. They receive tutoring and homework help, mentoring relationships, positive role models and the opportunity to work with pre-school children of the Dimock Community Health Center's Early Head Start Program.
Another student working with families of color is Phyllis Gyamfi, a doctoral candidate in Developmental Psychology and a Research Fellow at the Center for Young Children and Families. Not only does Gyamfi research issues relating to employment of single black mothers and parental stress, she has won accolades based on her work. Recently, she received the "Outstanding Research Award" from the Society for Social Work and Research for a paper she co-authored with Professor Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Dr. Aurora P. Jackson of the Columbia School of Social Work, and Mandy Blake, a research assistant to Dr. Jackson.
The paper, funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation, appeared in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, entitled "Employment Status, Psychological Well-Being, Social Support, and Physical Discipline Practices of Single Black Mothers." The study looked at whether employment status per se had an influence on the frequency of spanking as a means of child discipline, and found that the frequency was reduced based on a mother's being employed.
Gyamfi also took first place in the American Psychological Association's graduate research competition for her paper, "Employment Among Low-Income Single Black Mothers: Associations with Parenting Behavior, Parental Stress and Child School Readiness." In that study, she found that among 188 low-income, single, black, welfare or former welfare mothers, employed mothers reported less depression and less parenting stress than unemployed mothers.
Awards also went to two doctoral students in the Art and Art Education Program at the National Arts Club Annual Student Exhibition for the second year in a row. This year's winners were Pamela Harris Lawton, who won the Bernard Hans Hessel Memorial Award, and William Grant, who won the Samuel Tilden Award.
Lawton, who is on a two-year leave from Northwestern High School in Maryland, where she taught art and exhibited woodcuts and linocuts at galleries in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, won the award for two of her wood engraving and letter press prints.
Grant, who was a manager of corporate advertising design at NBC before deciding to pursue a career in the field of fine arts, won his award for a six-foot-by-four-foot photo etching of an angel. He has exhibited in a wide variety of galleries from the Brooklyn Museum to the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After leaving NBC, he received three academic degrees in four years.
Alumni Who Make a Difference
Each year, the College presents both Distinguished Alumni Awards and Early Career Awards to those graduates who have made significant contributions to their fields and to the field of education. This year three alumni were given Distinguished Alumni Awards at a dinner celebration at the Columbia-Princeton Club. They were Joseph Dionne, Margaret Mary Fitzpatrick, and Barbara Loomis Jackson.
Dionne, who began his career as a teacher and guidance counselor, joined The Mc-Graw-Hill Companies in 1967, eventually being appointed president and chief operating officer. He was honored for his commitment to improving America's education system. Dionne is currently on the Teachers College Board of Trustees.
Fitzpatrick, who is President and CEO of St. Thomas Aquinas College, was cited for her work in training professionals who work with young people from elementary school through college, and for coordinating and promoting the programs that help them reach those young people.
As Chair of the Division of Administration, Policy and Urban Education at the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University, Jackson helps prepare black women leaders in education and mentors doctoral students who are studying to be administrators. For more than 40 years she has been involved in educating students and educators as well as in administering and evaluating programs.
Investing in Future Leaders
As an incentive to ensure that students of education remain dedicated to pursuing education as a career, generous alumni, philanthropists, faculty and staff have created scholarships to provide financial aid to students committed to making a difference. Scholarships are one of the key priorities of The Campaign for Teachers College, with $28.5 million earmarked for them out of the $140 million goal.
Many TC students work full-time, have families and make extraordinary sacrifices to receive a degree from Teachers College. In a profession that is likely to provide moderate financial benefits, the College does not want talented people to avoid education careers because of the prospect of debt in the tens of thousands of dollars. Out of approximately 5,000 degree students at TC, 30 percent receive some form of scholarship aid, and about 95 percent of these students are receiving aid in the form of six credits or less, according to Christine L. Persico, Executive Director for Enrollment Services.
Recipients of these funds frequently say that the scholarships are the turning point in their ability to attend Teachers College and follow their dreams of working in education. Dawn Hering, a winner of a scholarship from The Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women through the office of Enrollment Services said, "This scholarship made it possible for me to come to a top-rated school to study special education. It really made all the difference in my life." The scholarship covers most of her tuition with the condition that she will teach in New York City Schools for three years after her graduation.
Darryl Hucks left the fashion industry to become a teacher. After volunteering as a Literacy Partner, he realized that teaching was his passion. Hucks was awarded the Nicholson Family Scholarship, which allowed him to focus on his studies rather than on how to pay for them. "It actually made me work harder because I was doing it not only for me, but for Pat and Ron Nicholson, my parents, my friends, my family, and most of all, my students!" he said. (See sidebar).
In honor of her daughter Julie Louise Franck, Jane P. Franck, the long-time director of the Milbank Library at Teachers College, established the Julie Louise Franck Fellowship, an endowed scholarship in special education. This was the field that Julie loved and devoted her life to. At the time of her death at age 37 from Hodgkin's disease in 1993, she was coordinator of pupil personnel services at the Lexington School for the Deaf.
Recipients of the Franck Fellowship include Grace Lappin and Robert A. Lane. Lappin is a doctoral candidate whose interests in special education are blindness and visual impairment. Lane teaches a master's program seminar and coordinates student teaching in learning disabilities. "With the Franck fellowship covering tuition, I'm free to focus my research on sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, mainly from the Bronx, to explore the impact of both a discussion format and writing instruction to enhance the reading, comprehension, writing and problem-solving skills of the learning disabled," Lane said.
Dr. Ann Uhlir and her mother Gladys Young Uhlir felt that their "lives were transformed by the academic excellence of Teachers College and the cultural influences of New York City," Dr. Uhlir said. Like her mother who attended TC in the early 1920s, Dr. Uhlir (M.A.1956, and Ph.D.1962) had great memories of an outstanding faculty, weekends at the ballet, opera or theater and meeting new friends while living in Whittier Hall.
In honor of those gratifying experiences, Dr. Uhlir donated $50,000 to establish an endowed scholarship in her and her mother's name. The scholarship is to be awarded to a student, preferably a woman, interested in a career in public education, either in the public schools or in public higher education institutions. In addition, Dr. Uhlir said she intends to leave part of her estate to further fund the endowed scholarship.
With the intent of creating a scholarship the equivalent of the Rhodes and National Merit scholarships, the late Tess Magsaysay and her husband Ken Boxley made an initial gift of $1 million in 1998 to Teachers College toward the creation of a $10 million scholarship endowment.
One of this year's ten recipients of the Magsaysay-Boxley Scholarship is Paul Albert, a graduate of Colgate University, whose goal is to receive his master's degree and teach fourth graders in a public school next fall. "I definitely would not be at TC without this scholarship," he said. "It frees me, on graduation, to teach almost anywhere I want without a sizable financial burden. Someone saw some vitality in me, and now all I have to do is prove it."
Linda Yan, a master's student in the Elementary Education Program, briefly worked for an accounting firm but realized the corporate world was not for her. As a Magsaysay-Boxley Scholar, Yan is able to pursue a career that she truly loves. Elementary education represents the foundation years, she said, the most important ones in a child's life. "I want to be part of that foundation," Yan added. "But most of all, I want the children I teach to realize their fullest potential."
Educating Current Leaders in Practice and Policy
One of the ways that Teachers College reaches out to current leaders is through lectures and conferences designed to bring those who attend up to date on what is happening in a particular area of study.
One of the most popular series of lectures is the BookTalk series, sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations, the Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation, and TC Press.
In April, Nan Stein, a senior research scientist at the Center for Research on Women at Wellesley College, discussed her book Classrooms and Courtrooms: Facing Sexual Harassment in K-12 Schools. In her presentation, she noted that the Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that schools are ultimately responsible for the sexual harassment that occurs there. Beyond the legal responsibility, Stein said that sexual harassment, which she defines as gender violence acted out in public, has damaging and far-reaching effects that may not be immediately obvious to educators. If sexual harassment goes unchecked, girls and boys can form improper attitudes toward these situations that may last throughout their lives. "I propose a program of zero indifference toward sexual harassment in our schools," she said. "I'm absolutely against ignoring the behavior. We must instead draw attention to it and correct it."
Carlos Cortpresented the first BookTalk lecture in the 2000-2001 school year on the topic of the media as educator. Through his book, The Children Are Watching: How the Media Teach About Diversity, Cortanalyzed how the media frame diversity-related issues, transmit certain values, and contribute to stereotypes. He likened the media to textbooks and labeled them "media educators," saying they have the power to influence the way people think.
Cortemphasized the need for parents and guardians to watch television with their children and explain it to their children as a form of "spin control." Since parents may not always have time to sit down with youngsters to explain how the media works, he said, "Teachers are in the ideal position to help control this."
The most well-attended BookTalk presentation yet was given by Simon Schama, a writer and professor at Columbia University in History and in Art History and Archaeology. He discussed the topic of his book Rembrandt's Eyes at the Guggenheim Museum in December. Rather than write a book that simply depicted Rembrandt's life, Schama said he looked at that life and used the book to explain the effects of painting in terms of what patrons wanted. He placed Rembrandt in the context of the world in which he lived, prompting one reviewer to note that the 700-plus-page book describes "every aspect of Rembrandt's life and culture"
Presentations by Programs of Study
Academic departments or individual professors also coordinate lectures and conferences. The Nutrition and Education program at TC sponsored a conference this year that looked at the science and practice of plant-based diets. Speakers included leading scientists, who study the relationship of food and nutrition to health, as well as nutrition education and food policy scholars and community leaders who are at the forefront of promoting the transition to plant-based diets.
Isobel Contento, the Mary Swartz Rose Professor of Nutrition at TC, and Lawrence Kushi, the Ella McCollum Vahlteich Professor of Human Nutrition, were included among the speakers. "Examining traditional and alternative eating patterns indicates that predominantly plant-based diets are more healthful than the standard American way of eating," Kushi said.
Worldwide educational access and opportunity was the subject of a conference sponsored by Teachers College, the TC-based online journal Current Issues in Comparative Education, the international children's organization UNICEF, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Despite attempts by the international community to make education a universal human right, educational and social exclusion remain entrenched in most of the world. At the conference, panel sessions and round-table discussions looked at issues such as the roles of governments and other agencies and the challenges faced in certain countries and regions of the world.
An effective way to bring today's leaders up to date on practice and policy issues are the regional meetings held by alumni groups across the country and in other parts of the world. Groups such as TC/DC, a club for TC alumni in the Washington, DC, area, or TC Metro NY, which is the New York City area group, provide opportunities for renowned TC professors to bring current research topics to our alumni. Professor Jay Heubert made a presentation on research related to high-stakes testing to a group of alumni in Connecticut, hosted by alumnus Morton Schindel of the Weston Woods Institute. Professor Henry M. Levin, who heads the National Center on the Study of Privatization in Education, has spoken at several regional meetings around the country regarding school choice issues.
Many alumni also return to Teachers College each year to hear the lectures presented by generous donors to the College. Events such as the Virginia and Leonard Marx Lecture Series and the Julius and Rosa Sachs Lectures are designed to bring the most well-respected experts in various fields of educational study to the College.
This year's Marx Lecturer, actor and writer Bill Cosby, brought in the largest audience in the history of the series and filled Riverside Church almost to capacity. Cosby's message was twofold-that those who are called to teach demand to be given the proper tools and settings to do so, and that it is important to look at a child's whole life experience, including nutrition and health habits, as a key to understanding what they are bringing to the classroom. (See sidebar).
TC alumna and renowned researcher Amy Stuart Wells delivered this year's three Sachs lectures. Stuart Wells, who received her Ph.D. in Sociology and Education from TC in 1991, has been widely cited for her research on detracking in racially mixed schools, charter schools and desegregation. (See sidebar).
Working with International Educators
Money is not the only thing that countries borrow from or lend to each other. Educational policy and practice are important areas of exchange, as well. For the last century, Teachers College has been a leader in international education studies and comparative education. Gita Steiner-Khamsi, an Associate Professor of Education in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies, is hoping to strengthen TC's reputation as "an institution of domestic and international perspectives in educational research" through her recent award of a Faculty Research Fellowship. The fellowship, she says, will give her an opportunity to prepare an edited volume on educational transfer that will include studies by current and former doctoral students at the College as well as researchers from other universities. She will include her findings on "two areas that are closely related: educational borrowing in developing countries and the emergence of international non-governmental organizations as contemporary agents of educational transfer."
In an effort to "create improved educational exchange between China and the U.S.," The Center on Chinese Education (CoCE) at TC was established through grants from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Lingnan Foundation, and Crosson Finance Ltd. Research and development projects sponsored by the Center focus on primary, secondary and higher education and are linked to the activities of other institutes and centers at the College.
Mun C. Tsang, Director of the Center and Professor of Education in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies, noted that, "Historically, TC has had a strong relationship with Chinese education. The Center is one vehicle for reviving and strengthening that relationship." He also believes it can go even further as part of a larger effort towards "a constructive and engaged relationship between two countries that is important for world peace and prosperity." (See sidebar).
Asian education practices are the focus of work being done by Associate Professor Clea Fernandez in an urban New Jersey school. Last year, Fernandez and Makoto Yoshida, a fellow researcher worked with a K-8 school in Paterson, New Jersey on a successful Japanese teaching technique called jugyokenkyu, which means "lesson study."
Lesson study is an extensive process that allows teachers to reflect upon their teaching and their lessons and that addresses specific issues within their teaching with the support and contributions of their colleagues. "When we have gone to Japan or have spoken to Japanese teachers, they all said to us, 'Lesson study is the most important experience in my professional life,'" Fernandez said. It is this collaborative process that she feels is the true soul of the success of teaching in Japan. Conversely, the teaching experience in America is a relatively isolated experience, she added.
The Paterson school worked in conjunction with a Japanese school in Greenwich, Connecticut. Teachers from each school visited the other to observe lessons and engage in discussions with the other teachers. Fernandez and her colleagues shared their work with educators from around the country through an open house at the Japanese School to introduce other schools to the lesson study process.
Nations around the world recognize Teachers College as a leader in comparative education as well as pedagogical practices and send their own educators to TC to bring those practices back to their own country. This year, the Singapore Ministry of Education sent three students from that country to TC for one year. Eng Teong is pursuing a master's in Art and Art Education, and Charles Chan is working on a master's in Curriculum and Teaching. Joyceln Woo is a Spencer Doctoral Research Fellow in the Curriculum and Teaching Department studying adolescents in Singapore and the United States.
Teong, who works for the Ministry of Education in Singapore for curriculum planning in art from primary through pre-university levels, came to TC to get a better understanding of how various educational issues impact art. Chan has taught high school English and Geography and has done curriculum design. He will be applying what he learns at TC to the education system in Singapore. Woo is using the experience to articulate her own ideas on education and will focus her dissertation on "Adolescence and the Politics of Everyday Time."
Honoring Educational Leaders Who Make a Difference
In addition to being a source of information to current leaders, Teachers College also recognizes those leaders in education who have done extraordinary work in their field. Each year, two to four educators are chosen to receive the Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service at the master's convocation ceremony in May.
This year medals were presented to James B. Hunt, Governor of North Carolina; Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute of African-American Research at Harvard University; Ellen V. Futter, President of the American Museum of Natural History and former President of Barnard College; and Edward Zigler, Professor of Psychology at Yale University and renowned "father" of the Head Start program.
Similarly, the College annually honors someone outside of the field of education who has worked toward improving education in an important way by presenting him or her with the Cleveland E. Dodge Medal for Distinguished Service to Education. This year's Dodge Medal was given to Eugene M. Lang, founder of the "I Have A Dream" Foundation," at the doctoral convocation ceremony at Riverside Church.
Shaping the Public Debate on Education
As one of the leading institutions in education in the country and in the world, Teachers College plays a critical role in facilitating the way that issues regarding education are presented to policy makers. In addition to conducting research that is at the forefront of the issues, TC faculty and institutes gather cutting-edge researchers and policy makers together to discuss the subjects that schools and communities are concerned about.
Presenting the Issues
A conference held annually at Teachers College for the past several years is "When Worlds Collide," sponsored by TC's Center for Opportunities and Outcomes for People with Disabilities. This year's conference took place over two days, addressing many issues affecting people with disabilities. Many speakers addressed the importance of integrating special education and general education.
Also included in the program was the inaugural Leonard and Frances Blackman Lecture-named for and endowed by Professor Emeritus Leonard Blackman and his wife-delivered by H. Rutherford Turnbull, III, Co-Director of the Beach Center on Families and Disability at the University of Kansas. "These lectures have been endowed for the purpose of illuminating us on the vital issues of policy, research, and practice as they relate to the education and rehabilitation of individuals with mental retardation and other special needs," Professor Blackman explained in his introduction.
When asked to sum up the importance of the conference to Teachers College, Linda Hickson, Director of the Center for Opportunities and Outcomes for People with Disabilities, said, "I think one of the biggest benefits of the conference for the TC community is that it starts a dialog on these important subjects between TC and the world at large."
Looking for Answers
In an effort to determine what works and does not work in dealing effectively with violence and aggression, the Metropolitan Life Foundation is supporting a program that will look at the impact of specific projects and analyze whether changes are necessary to improve their effectiveness. Dr. Erwin Flaxman is heading that program, and through the initiative, is offering literature to educators and parents that describes research findings. In addition, the Institute for Urban and Minority Education, headed by Flaxman, offered a total of three conferences that addressed issues of school violence.
"We have far less school violence than most people think even though people believe it is increasing," Flaxman said at one conference. "We don't distinguish among fairly innocent acts and serious acts. We react in the same way to both phenomena." He added that the discussions held at the conferences would address the need to look at both the legitimate and misplaced fears and discrepancies.
Another topic that is frequently being debated is the issue of high-stakes testing. A conference sponsored by the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST), the National Center for Fair and Open Testing (Fair Test) and the Center for Inquiry in Teaching and Learning brought more than 600 people to Teachers College to examine "The Effects of High-Stakes Testing." The program featured a full schedule of panel discussions, speakers, and break-out sessions.
An opening panel, moderated by Thomas Sobol, the Christian A. Johnson Professor for Outstanding Practice at TC, featured representatives from New York City public schools, the media, Fair Test, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and researchers/alumni Vito Perrone from Harvard and Michelle Fine from CUNY.
Sobol, who was at one time New York's Commissioner of Education, noted in his opening remarks that while most people are in favor of standards and accountability, the debate lies in "what kinds of standards we should have, who should set them, how we should be accountable and what our role should be."
Closing remarks at the conference were made by Deborah Meier, principal of Mission Hill School in Boston, and Senator Paul Wellstone from Minnesota. Wellstone noted, "More states and school districts are using high-stakes tests as if they believe, 'If we test them, they will perform.'"
While he spoke passionately about the problems of high-stakes testing practices, Wellstone also stressed, "We should not stop demanding that children do their best; we should not stop holding schools accountable-one measure can be a standardized test, but only if it is coupled with other measures of achievement."
Another important issue at the top of political and policy-making agenda is education reform and the shortage of quality superintendents and principals. To address this issue, Leaders Count, the Education Initiative of The Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds hosted more than 450 educators, and community, business and policy leaders at the "National Conference on Educational Leadership" at TC. The conference focused on issues of leadership in education and featured speakers such as Harold O. Levy, Chancellor of New York City Schools, and Richard W. Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education, who discussed how the best leaders can be placed into school systems.
Riley discussed some of the steps that the government has taken to ensure that the best leadership is in schools. New initiatives under a "School Leadership Institution" will train as many as 10,000 current or prospective administrators and will include regional centers and eventually a national academy to raise leadership to the highest level.
Looking to the Future
Technology is changing the way the world communicates, and TC is exploring several means of using media technology to benefit education. As one of 122 grantees of former President Clinton's $43 million funding to train teachers to use technology in the classroom, the College created "Technology Partners." With a total of $1.15 million over three years, the program is designed to help integrate technology into TC's teacher preparation programs. The 122 grant recipients will join forces with more than 900 partners across the country, including colleges and universities, elementary and secondary schools, community-based organizations, and technology companies.
While Centers and Institutes within the College, such as the Center for Technology and School Change (CTSC) and the Institute for Learning Technologies (ILT) work widely with area schools to help them integrate technology into curriculum, the use of technology has never been an integral part of Teachers College's pre-service programs.
The program will include workshops on technology competencies, technology project courses leading up to teacher certification, and online discussion about technology. Faculty will also receive one-to-one assistance from Teachers College staff and workshops geared to their needs. Participating groups in this project include CTSC, Academic Computing and the Milbank Memorial Library.
Joann Jacullo-Noto, Director of the Office of Teacher Education at TC and Co-Project Director, will help ensure that all pre-service students are placed in technology-ready classrooms with teachers who use technology. Other Co-Project Directors include Howard Budin, Director of CTSC, and George Schuessler, Manager of Academic Computing at TC.
In addition to this project, TC is also a partner in a second Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology grant. Ellen Meier, Co-Director of CTSC, with partner schools and colleges from around New York State, has received a three-year Catalyst grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This project will allow researchers to collect data to study the implementation of technology in urban school districts throughout New York State.
Not only are teachers being prepared to use technology, but publishers are, as well. This year, the Teachers College Record (TCR), the respected 100-year-old journal of research, analysis, and commentary in the field of education, broke new ground in cyberspace publishing. Gary Natriello, Professor of Education and editor of the journal, said that the editorial board of TCR decided, after much consultation and exploration, to begin publishing original material online.
Natriello added that the online journal is not intended to duplicate services provided to authors and readers by the print journal. Instead, he said, "We will develop our online publishing efforts as a compliment to our print journal. It's a new way to communicate scholarly work." (See Sidebar).
Natriello was also chairperson of the Seminar Planning committee for a five-lecture series on "The Future of Libraries." The lectures served to examine the needs of library users and society, in general, as well as to begin an intellectual discussion on possible changes to the TC library.
The lecture series is part of a $6.5 million gift from TC alumna Ruth L. Gottesman and her husband David to establish a library of the future at TC. "Libraries are the heart and soul of an institution of learning," said Ruth Gottesman, whose gift is the largest single gift to the College.
A good deal of the discussions in the series focused on digital and network technologies and the possibilities of interactive, graphic and individualized information. As a result of these new technologies becoming more a part of publishing and library science, the need for establishing new standards was raised. There is also a need for libraries to re-think the way information is organized, the way physical space is used and how much material will be available as part of an actual collection versus that which is digitized.
Bringing the Media Into the Discussion
Since 1997, the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media has been presenting seminars for journalists in an effort to help educators and journalists better understand each other and to help the general public understand the issues involving the coverage of education.
Founding director, Gene I. Maeroff, a former national education correspondent of The New York Times and a Trustee of the College, has developed the Institute further by bringing the seminar to cities closer to where the reporters are working and by presenting a "reverse" seminar in which journalists tell superintendents of schools what they need to know about the media.
This year, for the first time, the Hechinger Institute held seminars on Education Issues for Political Reporters in San Antonio, Texas, and in Washington, DC. The one-day investment yielded reporters a full schedule of topics frequently debated in political circles, including voucher and charter schools, high standards and high-stakes testing, class size, teacher quality and the role of Pre-K classes in overall school achievement.
Improving Practice in Educational Institutions
Professional Development Schools
By reaching out to schools, teachers and the local community, Teachers College is able to connect research with practice. Through collaboration between several schools in District 3 in Manhattan, Teachers College coordinates the Greater Council of the Teachers College Professional Development School (PDS) Partnership. The 12-year-old partnership began in cooperation with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) through the establishment of a Professional Development School at P.S. 87. The partnership now includes P.S. 207, P.S. 165, Middle School 44, and the Beacon High School, which is an alternative high school.
Recently, the School District and Teachers College drafted a charter defining their working agreement. Assistant Professor of Education Celia Oyler, an active member of the partnership, said, "A lot of PDS partnerships across the country get bogged down in matters of institutional decision making and processes of how to make decisions about placing student teachers and how to teach courses. It all becomes very procedural. We are ready to move onto substantive issues."
Oyler said she looks forward to moving on to deeper issues that involve the nature of teaching, learning and professional growth as well as issues of social justice, racial equality, economic equality, and equity for students with disabilities.
Institute for Learning Technologies
Another project that involves TC's outreach to schools in the community is The Eiffel Project, which works to improve the educational experience of disadvantaged children by connecting an increasing number of K-12 schools to the Internet in communities of minority and economically disadvantaged families. The project also works to develop new curricular strategies and provide professional development to teachers.
As part of the Eiffel Project, TC's Institute for Learning Technologies (ILT) has been involved in initiatives that will bring interactive multimedia technologies to schools and community-based organizations (CBOs) in Upper Manhattan and Harlem. Harlem Renaissance 2001(HR2K1) is working to provide the Harlem community with access to the benefits that new information technologies make possible. To do this, HR2K1 project leaders put together a three-part strategy consisting of public access technology centers, a distance learning network, and a computer loan program.
According to Bruce Lincoln, Manager of Community Outreach at ILT, five public access technology centers were established at existing community-based organizations and a sixth was established as a large community technology center serving the entire Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone community.
People who frequent the center and who live in local housing projects are able to apply for the loan of a home computer with Internet access free of charge. Those using the computers will also have the opportunity to connect to a distance learning network that provides access to e-mail, basic office software, World Wide Web and desktop videoconferencing, as well as an integrated multimedia distance learning system through the Internet.
The Heritage School
Three years ago, the Heritage School, a collaboration between Teachers College and the New York City Board of Education, was founded as an innovative high school in East Harlem. Professor Judith Burton, former Chair of TC's Department of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Art Education, envisioned and propelled the school into reality as a public school where traditional academics are balanced with interdisciplinary learning in which the arts-visual, music, dance, and drama-are critical dimensions to all programs of study. As part of that vision, Burton saw the "Extended Day and Community Program" as an integral part of the mission because many of the programs could not be implemented during regular hours. Parents were asked to offer ideas for what programs to offer and were encouraged to become involved. The program also provides a vehicle to involve the rest of the community in the life of the school.
Cathleen Kiebert-Gruen, a TC doctoral student and Director of the Extended Day and Community Program, wrote a grant proposal to fund the program in 1998. As a result, the Heritage School was awarded a three-year 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant. Extended-day activities include professional artists working as mentors to students to create videos, newspapers, poetry and multi-media productions. There are also lessons in Karate, musical instruments and computers.
In June, the Heritage School received an additional grant of $146,000 from The After-School Corporation (TASC). "The grant will help to enhance our homework support program and provide new internship opportunities," said Kiebert-Gruen. "We will have two guidance counselors just for the after-school program to work with kids to help them develop their internships into career interests. We are adding another counselor who will be responsible for maintaining a database of colleges, coordinating college visits and developing college applications."
Changes At Teachers College
While helping to improve practice at educational institutions in the community, Teachers College does not overlook its own need to change, grow and adjust to new situations. Over the past year, the College has seen transformations in organization and administration as well as in the physical structure of the buildings.
Diversity was a key issue raised in 1999. To respond to the needs presented by members of the College community along those lines, the College added a new position of Assistant and Special Counsel to the President for Diversity and Community, as part of its diversity initiative based upon recommendations of the Diversity Task Force. A 10-member search committee, representative of the TC Community, assisted in finding and selecting a candidate for the position. Janice S. Robinson was chosen for her outstanding achievements and accomplishments.
Robinson, a TC alumna, joined the College in her new position after serving at Rutgers University in Newark in a unique joint appointment with the law school and undergraduate college. She was the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Director of the Academic Foundations Center and Educational Opportunity Fund (AFC/EOF) program and Special Counsel to the Dean of the Law School.
"Affirmative action in higher education with all its tentacles reaching into many institutional areas is really my area of expertise," Robinson said. "I have been engaged in the implementation of educational ideas and policies to try to make a difference in peoples' lives."
Improved services for students and staff members with disabilities were also on the agenda. "The now centralized voice of people with disabilities can contribute to the tapestry of diversity that President Levine is focusing on," said Richard Keller, the Director of the College's new Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities (OASID).
The office provides a broad range of services that are available to meet individuals' academic and employment needs. Some of the most requested services are for readers, tutors, note takers, sign language interpreters and adaptive technology. Keller, who was previously the Director of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, noted that individuals who are protected under the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are eligible for the program. The ADA includes but is not limited to people who are blind, deaf, or who have physical disabilities, learning disabilities, contagious and non-contagious diseases, or psychological disabilities.
Further administrative changes are in progress as Professor Karen Zumwalt left her position in July as Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs to return to full-time teaching and research. After a one-year sabbatical, Zumwalt will continue in the fall of 2001 as Professor of Education on the Evenden Foundation in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching.
During the search for a new Dean, Edmund W. Gordon has agreed to serve as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs of the College. Professor Emeritus Garry Griffin has also agreed to provide consultant time over the next two years to support faculty efforts in responding to the required re-registration of the College's master's degree programs in teacher education and the NCATE accreditation of all the College's programs that prepare school personnel.
Zumwalt said she is particularly proud of her initiative as Dean in developing the Minority Postdoctoral Program that annually brings two outstanding young scholars of color to the College to help them jumpstart their careers. Another point of pride is having been awarded two Spencer Research Training Grants totaling $2.1 million, 90 percent of which is allocated to direct student aid. The grants are helping TC improve the preparation of doctoral students who are planning careers as educational researchers.
Renovations to the physical plant continue as funding from the Capital Campaign allows for redesign and restructuring of office, classroom, and other public space used by the TC community.
Twenty-five new offices, a conference room and restroom facilities were the result of a conversion of what used to be the gymnasium in Thompson Hall. "TC decided to convert the gym to office space after looking at costly spaces outside the College," said Fred Schnur, Vice President for Finance and Administration. A spiral staircase leads up to the track that still runs around the perimeter of the space. Lights hang from exposed beams and clear glass doors allow for as much natural lighting as possible.
The Department of Curriculum and Teaching has gained a new space designed to serve as a conference room and classroom for students and faculty in that department. The Jeannette E. Fleischner Room was built in honor of the former professor of special education who passed away suddenly three years ago. Alice Elgart, a former student of Fleischner's, was the first to pledge a donation to the restoration of the C & T conference room at 304 Main Hall. (See sidebar).
The Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation also took steps to provide crucial support during the Campaign for Teachers College with its $400,000 gift to underwrite renovations to Grace Dodge Hall and the Grace Dodge Room. "When the Foundation Board of Directors met at Teachers College for its annual meeting in the mid-1990s," said Phyllis Criscouli, Executive Director of the Foundation, "we perceived first-hand the poor condition of Grace Dodge Hall and the Grace Dodge Room. That led us to respond positively to the proposal that followed."
With receipt of the Dodge gift, renovations have transformed the west wing of Grace Dodge Hall's ground floor, one of the College's most visible and heavily used areas. New lighting, painted hallways and resurfaced floors have emphasized the aesthetic qualities of the corridors. The Grace Dodge Room is the venue of large classes, guest lectures, conferences, dinners and major receptions. To restore it to its previous elegance, the renovations provide proper natural and artificial lighting, space for audiovisual presentations, a modern viewing screen and acoustical improvements.
"To ensure that the best learning takes place, Teachers College has attracted a great faculty to inspire and motivate its students. For our part," Criscouli emphasized, "the Dodge Foundation has invested in a physical environment that enhances and fosters this level of learning."
Vice President for Development and External Affairs Joseph Brosnan supported Criscouli's words by saying that in reaching our goal of $140 million by 2002, TC will be better able to face the challenges of the 21st Century and lead the way for other institutions of learning.previous page