Russell, William F.
William F. Russell — 1955
The theory upon which we work, so far as Technical Cooperation is concerned, is based on our faith that we, in the advanced countries, have learned how to attack certain problems; that certain other countries have not learned this; and that the way best to help them is to share our knowledge and our techniques with them. Thus the main task is to teach these other peoples; to help them develop the experts they need.
The relation of education to the cold war is the question for discussion here.
WHAT to do about Communists and Communism—that is the latest hard problem confronting the school superintendent and the college president. It cannot be ignored or dodged. It cannot be laid upon the table. Inept handling may alienate public support. Fumbling may ruin a good organization. Requisite to successful administration are the adoption of a wise and resolute policy and the will to carry it into effect. What should this policy be? Many people have many ideas both here and abroad. Nevertheless, America seems to be settling upon one policy, Europe quite another.
In this talk the author brings an explanation of the educational malaise in the United States. Leaving out of account the critics who distrust education and do not want to pay for it, and taking into account only those who truly seek better citizens, a forward-looking country, and one that can defend itself, he suggests that the trouble in America is that many of our influential leaders still base their recommendations upon an erroneous view of the human mind and upon fallacious theories of how we learn. It is time that they learn the truth about these modern Idols of the Theatre.
The school administrator must peer into the unknown to make the best estimates that he can in order to meet future contingencies.
The author tackles the question, "Whose responsibility is education?" by following the technique of Conan Doyle. His subject is organized around the following paragraphs: a glass slipper, a stick of wood, a lottery ticket, a school child, and a parchment diploma.
A discussion of the problem to discover the best kind of educational program to form the kind of citizen who can live properly in a free society, who can do his duty as a citizen, and who will improve and defend government of, by, and for the people.
Introductory remarks to the meeting held at Teachers College in honor of John Dewey's ninetieth birthday.
A program for the defense of democracy and the improvement of popular government will be carried out in important part in the schools and by teachers; and as such it is a first concern of Teachers College. We know that good work is being done in our educational institutions; we also know that much more can be done.
A tribute to Edward L. Thorndike, 1874-1949
The author considers the effect on educational organization of what has been learned about the raw material; for many educational practices were developed prior to the development of modern psychology and experimental education, and many long-established customs and attitudes toward education were based on ignorance of how children develop, of how they learn and forget, and of how the human mind works.
It is the author’s purpose in discussing the philosophy of educational administration to describe how many citizens of the United States are coming to view the problems of organization and operation of schools and other institutions and agencies of education.
AMG is in Germany for three main purposes: (1) to keep order; (2) to put Germany sufficiently on her feet so that she can carry on without subsidy from the American taxpayer; and (3) to change Germany from a country that has been a menace to the world into one that can be lived with in safety. So far as education goes, fulfilment of the first aim merely means keeping the children off the streets and occupied. The second and third are the important ones.
What can the schools, or other means of education, do to prevent war? The author is considering solely the possible relation of schools and other means of education to peace and war.
A tribute to Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947), President of Teachers College from 1886 to 1891.
A discussion regarding the size and selectivity of Teachers College. With enrollment nearly as high as it ever was, it is now the time to assess the past and present and chart the course for future development.
The author recalls to our minds the circumstances of the heroism of 1940. He then recounts a few personal experiences with some of the heroes of the French Resistance who stood with the British and whose conduct equaled in daring and dash and love of country and humanity that of the greatest heroes of all time. He analyzes this heroism; to try to discover what it was that brought it forth— what are the resources in human nature that a crisis can tap—and then shows why we need to be heroes ourselves, today and every day.
The first job of education for democracy is to let Soviet communistic dictatorship stand revealed to the world in its true light. Then America also will stand before the world in her true light, and once again the peoples of Europe may look to the land of Benjamin Franklin as their guiding star.
There is abundant evidence that our schools are much better now than they were, but the author believes that American general education still is not good enough.
Somehow or other the United States, triumphant, is doomed to failure unless the trend that has gripped all triumphant nations before us is checked and reversed. All of us must give the rest of our lives, not only to prevent traditional, conforming education, but to build schools, colleges, and other means of education to make America flexible, sensitive to change, and adaptive—truly a land of the free.
The Americans and British hope that something positive can be done; that Germans can be reformed through education. Hope for the regeneration of Germany through education is widespread.
Problems that our country has to meet are discussed. We already know many of the steps we have to take. We have able faculty and students. We have an ambitious and well-supported experimental project under way. But all must gather strength and join in the attack. Once again we shall need the loyalty, devotion to public welfare, and spirit of service that have carried us through the most severe crisis of our history. Once again we recall the spirit and purpose of our Founders. Then we shall do our part to help our country meet the unprecedented problems of the age in which we serve.
On November 15, 1894 a great and distinguished body of New Yorkers were making their way out into the country to the section that they called Harlem Heights—or Riverside Heights—to dedicate the new building of a new institution, Teachers College.
A reprint of the Report of the Dean of Teachers College to the Trustees for the Academic Year Ending June 30, 1944.
The time has come to make plans to bind up the wounds of this war. We are at the beginning of the end; possibly near the end of the European phase. Through the smoke of battle, becoming plainer with each passing day, we begin to see the outlines of the postwar world, the shape of things to come. The main problem that is upon us is to discover how to reconstruct our own life and to give all proper aid to others in reconstructing theirs.
A memorandum as a part of the Dean's Report for 1942-1943.
In prosecuting this total war our nation finds itself with shortages not only in military and naval equipment, factories and raw materials, but also in men and women who are able and prepared to perform the kinds of tasks that mechanical warfare requires. These shortages have come despite recent great educational advances.
In discussing post-war education there are two possible ways of treating the subject. One can picture education as he would wish it to be; or he can imagine what he thinks, from present trends, it is likely to become. This article combines the two approaches, tempering ambition with the practical.
The present world struggle can be viewed in one sense as a contest between hope and despair.
“The Schools and the Defense” was a Symposium on Defense Activities, held at Teachers College, Columbia University, August 6, 1941. Paul R. Mort, Chairman.
Democracy or autocracy, socialism, communism, or despotism—no government will succeed or long endure which keeps stupid people at the top. It must devise means to discover and educate the able, and for its own welfare give them positions of influence and power.
A section of the Report of the Dean of Teachers College for the Academic Year Ending June, 1940 in response to the fall of France.
The author had the opportunity to consult one of the notebooks from which was made up a local school report to Albany almost a hundred years ago. The writer was one George Williams, Deputy Superintendent (the name used that year for County Superintendent for the last time) of Tioga County. The notes are records of visits to all the schools of Owego, Tioga, Newark, Berkshire, Barton, Nichols, Spencer, Candor, and Richford in December, 1841, and in January and February, 1842.
This article is a section of the Report of the Dean of Teachers College for the Academic Year Ending June, 1939.
The World Congress on Education for Citizenship in a Democracy, which will meet at Teachers College on August 15, 16, and 17, 1939, is a logical outgrowth of a number of developments in Teachers College during the past few years.
No more important problem faces the American people than the formation of the citizen. No higher duty devolves upon the schools than the development of a program of education for citizenship.
The author discusses a problem which concerns all of us who love democracy and the ideal of liberty for which it stands. The problem is "How to check Communism."
This issue of THE RECORD is devoted to two conferences of the Advanced School of Education of Teachers College, dealing with the relationship between public education and American industry and business.
American education must be kept free. Our educational liberties must be preserved. In times like these, when in many parts of the world schools and universities are enslaved, professors and teachers persecuted, free inquiry at the mercy of ignorant authority, and educational programs bent to the will of national propaganda, sensitiveness to the problem of academic freedom is the duty of all.
In colonial days almost anybody could be a teacher. Later came the development and extension of normal schools, teachers colleges, and university departments of education; and from study of the fields of knowledge basic to education, from research upon its fundamental problems, and from school experimentation and demonstration, there emerged the materials and methods needed for professional education. During the period of rapid expansion of schools, the demand for teachers far outran the supply; and although state departments of education set the standards for certification as high as they dared, they were forced to leave loopholes for those inadequately trained at the moment, who might supplement their training by later study. The depression halted the period of expansion, but the demand for the untrained persisted.
But what is democratic administration? What is autocratic administration? These are the questions that are discussed.
Boards of Trustees and other wise citizens, if they judge correctly the direction of the wind by the straws blown from Alberta, will permit nothing to block the path of our scholars. There is no project of greater importance; none of such immediate need.
This annual report is devoted to the problems of the reorganization of the administration of Teachers College.
"THE Revolution" is a proper noun in American history. It refers directly to the War of Independence.1 When we say "before the Revolution," we are referring to the Colonial times when our fathers were subject to the Crown.
Neither China nor the United States should disregard the importance of this Report. It is the product of four distinguished citizens of four separate countries, each of world eminence in his chosen field.
A technocracy will demand one type of citizen; a democracy quite another; and upon the choice that America must make in its advance toward social justice will depend our attitude toward who shall teach, whom, what and how we teach, what shall be the life of the school, and how it shall be controlled and supported. Let us hope that we choose the democratic road.
We are entering a new world—the world of the machine age, the beginnings of which are unfolding about us; in the days to come there will be more persons at rest than at work, and more leisure than labor; and that, as in the past, failure to prepare for these conditions, will bring disaster. For lethargy in mind and body is a fertile field for the seeds of discontent, disorder, and disease. Thus education for leisure and the enrichment of adult life is no slight educational activity; it is no peripheral problem; nor is it an incidental task. It is rather a fundamental problem affecting the welfare of the State and its perpetuity, and as such should receive major consideration.
An obituary written by William Russell.
THE greatest concern of the educational executive is the progress of his institution.1 He knows that no school or college can remain static. Day by day it grows better or worse.
Report of the Dean.
The process of relating an educational program to a national end is neither simple to comprehend nor easy to put into practice. Education has momentum, teachers are traditional, and as a rule modifications are the result of efforts extended over a considerable period of time. The history of education does not tell the story of many sudden widespread school reforms. When they do come, they are found where the national ends are clear and distinct, accompanied by powerful governmental control.
An educational system is successful only when in all its aspects it contributes to the ends of the society in which it lives and has its being. Every aspect of education must adjust itself to the national ideal.
OUR government Mercedes, the royal coat of arms proudly painted on its side, has ceased from its hurried journey over the roughly cobbled remains of Balkan military roads.1
The following addresses were delivered on the occassion of the installation of William Fletcher Russell, Ph.D., LL.D., as Dean of Teachers College, Columbia University, on April 10, 1928.
THE field of professional training of teachers as contrasted with the academic has had a hard row to hoe in the American college and university.1 The rift between the two has been proverbial. The academic professor in the old days had but little use for his professional colleague and the feeling was mutual.
In two studies published some time ago,1 the writer made use of a particular statistical procedure to derive what was termed an Index of Opportunity.
"Internationalism" is a word that the average American views with alarm. There is a suggestion of Bolshevism and a reminder of the I. W. W. Many who, during the closing years of the war, looked upon world brotherhood and federation as the hope for the future, now favor national isolation in their reaction against the intrigue, the self-interest and the lack of candor displayed at Versailles. The American stands for "America First" and there is justice in his point of view. But we all know that there is some value in internationalism. We realize that the unchanging, backward, complacent peoples of the world are those apart from the rest of mankind.
The Report of the Dean of Teachers College, a bulletin of one hundred and twenty-four pages, publicly distributed this month,1 presents a statement of the aims and ideals of Teachers College, and the progress made toward their accomplishment during the past year by the College, its various institutes and schools. The introductory report by Dean Russell is of particular significance and abstracts are reprinted below.
The conference program culminated, on Thursday evening, February 22, in a dinner at the Hotel Commodore in honor or Dean Russell. Trustees, faculty, alumni, students, and friends of the College gathered to the number of over twelve hundred to give expression of their affection and respect for the Dean.
In the reign of the Tsar, the administration of education was highly centralized. The government in Petrograd was in control of all schools, the Ministry of Education being in executive charge.2 Authority, as well as support, came from Petrograd, and there were many inspectors whose duty it was not so much to improve school conditions as to see that the edicts of the government were carried out.
To-day begins a new epoch in the life of Teachers College. During our holiday vacation Miss Dodge passed away and with her death closed an era in our history. From the beginning until now she has been a patron, friend and mother to us all.