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Applying Our Knowledge


President Fuhrman

President Fuhrman

Dear Friend,

My heartfelt thanks to the entire Teachers College community for the warm and beautiful inauguration ceremony in January. I cannot imagine a more gracious welcome, and I will carry the memory of it all my life.

Since arriving at TC in August, I have repeatedly asked two questions: How can the College continue to serve as a global leader in education during the 21st century? And what do we need to do, internally, to make that happen?

This issue of TC Today offers powerful answers to both questions.

TC faculty member Doug Greer, whose work is profiled in these pages, has spent a lifetime developing and refining a system of teaching based on the ideas of his mentor, the psychologist B.F. Skinner. Through studies that he and his many students have replicated time and again, he has shown that it is possible to move young children of all abilities past important developmental milestones and turn more advanced students into capable independent learners. At a time when so many pedagogical approaches rest on intuition and unproven assumptions, Doug's work gives real meaning to the notion of evidence-based instruction and holds particular promise for economically disadvantaged children.

The new directions at TC's Gottesman Libraries, also featured in this issue, exemplify how an institution can change internally to create a better climate for collaboration, creativity and excellence. Under Director Gary Natriello and his team, the Gottesman is now a strategic planning center, a design service, a physical and virtual meeting space and, most tellingly of all, a place where people can learn about everything from the history of our College to the morning's headlines from around the world.

We would not have the Gottesman without the generosity of its namesake. Ruth Gottesman, profiled on the inside back cover, has served for many years on our Board of Trustees, where she has applied the dual perspectives of a loyal alumna and an expert practitioner in her field of learning disabilities. Her gift to the College, which reflects her keen understanding about how truly to make a difference in the life of an institution, is one that will keep on giving. It is Ruth herself who has best described the library's value, calling it not merely a knowledge center, but a center for applying knowledge.

That, of course, is what Teachers College itself continually aspires to be.

 Sincerely, Susan Fuhrman   
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