Volume 1, Number 1, 2014
The direction of popular education has, until very recent times, been universally considered the peculiar prerogative of the church. The entire school system of mediaeval Europe was dominated by the Roman Church. The universities, as first planned, were ecclesiastical establishments, defenders of the faith, foundations of the church for the higher education of the clergy.
The story of how Teachers College came to be, how it grew, and how it reached its present form, has never been fully told; and though the time is not yet ripe for telling it fully, I have undertaken, at the request of the Dean of the College, to trace the main lines of growth, materially and educationally, from the inception of the work to the close of the year 1896-97.
On October 31, 1754, during the reign of George II., His Majesty's Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Province were issued, incorporating " The Governors of the College of the Province of New York, in the City of New York, in America," and providing for the establishment of a College, to be known as " King's College," " for the instruction and Education of Youth in the Learned Languages and in the Liberal Arts and Sciences."
Teachers College, founded in 1888 and chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York on January 12, 1889, became, by an agreement dated March 22, 1898, a part of the educational system of Columbia University.
Teachers College is not a normal school, neither is it merely a university department of pedagogy. It ranks as a professional school for teachers, and in order to maintain this rank it must maintain University standards.
The courses of study offered in Teachers College fall naturally into three groups: A. Graduate Courses: (1) A course for teachers in normal schools, and for principals, supervisors, and superintendents of schools. This course is intended to fit teachers of superior ability and of special academic attainments for the work of training teachers in colleges and normal schools, and for positions in the public-school service requiring a high degree of professional insight and technical skill.
The educational administration of Teachers College is by departments, each of which has its own director (generally of professorial rank) and a full corps of instructors. The departments are as follows: Education, English, French, German, Greek, Latin, History, Biology, Geography and Geology, Physics and Chemistry, Mathematics, Kindergarten, Fine Arts, Domestic Art, Domestic Science, Manual Training, Music and Voice Training, and Physical Training.
The College is situated on Morningside Heights between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway. This location is singularly fortunate. The main buildings of Columbia University, Barnard College, the Grant Monument, St. Luke's Hospital, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and the Academy of Design are in the immediate vicinity.
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