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History and Education

Department of Arts & Humanities

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Program Description

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.

Degrees

  • Master of Arts

    • Points/Credits: 30/32 (depending on course selection)

      Entry Terms: Spring/Fall

      Degree Requirements

      The Master of Arts offers two approaches:

      1. 30 points and a formal master’s essay, or

      2. 32 points and a special project. Topics and preparation of the essay or the special project are to be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor. At least 15 of the points taken for the degree must be in the field of history and education. At least three Teachers College courses (for at least 2 points each) must be taken outside of the program in History and Education.

  • Master of Education

    • Points/Credits: 60

      Entry Terms: Spring/Fall

      Degree Requirements

      The Master of Education requires 60 points, at least 30 of which must be completed under the auspices of Teachers College. Students must take at least 30 points in history and education and at least three Teachers College courses (for at least 2 points each) outside the program.

  • Doctor of Philosophy

    • Points/Credits: 75

      Entry Terms: Fall Only

      Degree Requirements

      The Doctor of Philosophy requires 75 points, including demonstrated proficiency in two foreign languages. Program emphasizes historical research in education. Candidates should be in touch with the Office of Doctoral Studies to be certain of complying with the latest procedures, deadlines, and documents.

Faculty

  • Faculty

    • Ansley T. Erickson Associate Professor of History and Education Policy
    • Thomas James Professor of History and Education
    • Cally Lyn Waite Associate Professor of History and Education

Courses

  • A&HH 4060 - History of Education in New York City
    An examination of the city’s educational institutions from the perspective of the different school populations who attended them over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • A&HH 4070 - History of Education in the US
    Considers the development of American education in the context of American social and intellectual history.
  • A&HH 4074 - Historical Visions of Teachers and Teaching
    A critical examination of popular representations of teachers during the 20th century.
  • A&HH 4076 - History of Urban Education
    Understanding the development of schooling in US cities, with an emphasis on social, economic, and spatial changes in the metropolitan environment and their interactions with schools.
  • A&HH 4901 - Research and Independent Study
    Permission of instructor required.
  • A&HH 5010 - History of School Segregation in the U.S.
    Examines the social, economic, and political factors that once supported segregated schools, led to the victory of Brown v. Board of Education (1954), and created the conditions for resegregated schools in contemporary times.
  • A&HH 5050 - Harlem Stories: Archives and Digital Tools
    Part of a two-course sequence; students may take one or both. Combines a topical focus on the history of education in Harlem with practice in digital approaches to researching and sharing historical knowledge, including connections to secondary classrooms. Emphasizes working with and developing archival collections, spatial mapping and creating digital historical exhibits.
  • A&HH 5051 - Harlem Stories: Oral History and Digital Tools
    Part of a two-course sequence; students may take one or both. Combines a topical focus on the history of education in Harlem with practice in digital approaches to researching and sharing historical knowledge, including connections to secondary classrooms. Emphasizes conducting and archiving oral histories and creating digital historical exhibits.
  • A&HH 5063 - U.S. Education Policy in Historical Perspective
    Examines the historical development of education policy in the U.S., with a particular focus on the increasing federal presence in U.S. education over the course of the 20th century. Traces how U.S. citizens have debated who should govern schools at what scale and how federal actors have defined social problems and sought to address them through education.
  • A&HH 5070 - History and Theory of Higher Education
    Fundamental ideas that have shaped liberal education in the United States and basic issues that arise in the formulation of purposes, policies, and educational programs in colleges and universities.
  • A&HH 5076 - History of African-American Education
    An exploration of informal and formal education from slavery to the present.
  • A&HH 5670 - Colloquium in History and Education
    Discussion of research and teaching topics in history and education.
  • A&HH 6041 - Historical Method
    Methods, principles, and problems of historical research and interpretation. Designed for students throughout the College undertaking systematic inquiries on historical topics.
  • A&HH 6901 - Research and Independent Study
    Faculty. Permission of instructor required.
  • A&HH 6970 - Advanced Doctoral Seminar
    Presentation of dissertation proposals and drafts and explorations of the employment prospects of specialists in history and education.
  • A&HH 7501 - Dissertation Seminar in History and Education
    Faculty. Permission of instructor required. Required of doctoral students in the semester following successful completion of certification examinations.
  • A&HH 8901 - Dissertation Advisement in History and Education
    Faculty. 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./Ph.D. degrees
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