The National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST), established at Teachers College in 1990, supports restructuring efforts by documenting successful school improvement initiatives, creating reform networks to share new research findings with practitioners, and linking policy to practice. NCREST works to develop understandings that help schools become: learner-centered by focusing on the needs of learners in decisions about school organization, governance, and pedagogy; knowledge-based, by restructuring teacher learning and professional development that are supported by disciplined inquiry; and responsible and responsive, by refocusing and re-inventing accountability and assessment practices. Currently, NCREST is involved in a variety of projects including aligning curriculum and educational technology, Professional Development Schools, teacher learning, student assessment, the documentation of successful school reform efforts in elementary and secondary schools, and the development of local, state, and national policies that reflect the relationship of research and practice. Jacqueline Ancess is the director of NCREST.
The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project is a staff development organization that works in intimate and long-lasting ways with communities of educators in the New York City metropolitan area and also provides more limited assistance to educators in schools from all over the United States. Currently the Project serves over 100 schools. For two decades, the Project has supported educators establishing reading and writing workshops in which teachers act as mentors and coaches to children. Project staff and teachers become co-researchers, observing what children do in writing and reading, theorizing about what their behaviors mean, and planning teaching moves to help them learn. To nurture this school-based work, Project staff meet at the College with educators from Project-schools: Each week over 100 teachers gather in study groups focusing on becoming teacher-leaders in workshop teaching, and each month over 100 principals gather focusing on the problems, challenges, and opportunities of being a school leader in literacy education. The Project's school-based consulting, study groups, and think-tanks are complemented by an array of other professional education opportunities at the College. Throughout the year, thousands of teachers attend sixty full-day Project-run conferences providing information and insight about how to structure and sustain high quality literacy education. Every summer, three thousand teachers attend one of several week-long Project Institutes which include keynote addresses, small groups study, and interactive discussion groups. The Project was founded and is directed by Lucy McCormick Calkins, Professor of Education.
The Rita Gold Early Childhood Center serves to support and promote the growth and development of infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families through four inter-related practices: supportive early care and education for very young children; transdisciplinary professional preparation for students; ongoing research to improve practice and inform theory in early development, care and education for young children and families; and outreach within and beyond the Teachers College community. Located at the College, the Center provides inclusive and culturally responsive care within mixed-age groups for children ages 6 weeks through 5 years and their families who are affiliated with Columbia University. Founded in 1982 as the Center for Infants and Parents, the Center's growth and development has been supported over the years through the gifts of many kind and generous donors. We are grateful to Rita and Herbert Gold for their support of our most recent expansion. The Rita Gold Center is a resource for students across the College who are engaged in observation, teaching, and research with young children and families. Supervised practica focusing on educational and developmental issues for infants, toddlers and preschoolers are offered on site at the Center. Patrice Nichols is the on-site coordinator.
The Hollingworth Center, a program within the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, is a service, research, outreach, and demonstration site. The Center is designed to provide internship and training opportunities for the graduate students of Teachers College, develop demonstration programs in early childhood education and primary grade STEM education, and offer enriched educational services for children, families, and educators locally and internationally. Primarily concerned with nurturing the talent development of all young children, the Center maintains a special commitment to creating and implementing programs for underserved children and teachers in urban schools locally and abroad, and designing model curricula in areas traditionally neglected in primary and elementary schools.