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Teachers College, Columbia University
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History & Education

In the Department of Arts & Humanities

About Us

The Program in History and Education is one of the oldest at Teachers College, the history of education having been one of the first components of the university study of education. Many of the earliest doctoral dissertations at Teachers College dealt with historical subjects, even in the case of students aspiring to careers in curriculum, guidance, and administration. 

The Program prepares people to teach in graduate schools of education, undergraduate departments of education, departments of history, theological seminaries, or other academic institutions, and to work as research scholars in institutes, government bureaus, or social service agencies where a deep understanding of education in historical perspective is essential.  

The Program addresses important educational questions, first, by examining the ideas, individuals, and institutions of the past to determine their influence on their own times; and, second, by bringing historical knowledge and perspective to bear on current educational issues. The Program offers courses covering the educational history of America, urban areas, women, immigrants, and African-Americans. 

The Program is open to students of broad and diverse backgrounds who can give evidence of academic competence and personal qualities suggesting high probability of professional success. Each student in the Program is expected to take courses in the history of education, as well as in the more generalized fields of social, political, and cultural history. Students can also take subject matter courses in cognate areas aimed at complementing and supporting their specialized areas of interest within the history of education. In addition, most students engage in continuous independent research under the supervision of a faculty member. 

Students in the Program are encouraged, with their advisor's guidance, to make full use of resources offered by other Programs at Teachers College, Columbia University, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary.

Note: If you are interested in becoming a certified public school teacher, please see the Program in Teaching of Social Studies in this department. The Program in History and Education does not lead to public school certification.

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