Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Early Influence of Teachers College on International and Comparative Education

Teachers College, Columbia University was one of the most active universities in encouraging both international and comparative education.  In fact, the first course on comparative education was offered at Teachers College during the 1898-1899 school year, even though course work in the field did not fully flourish until the 1920s and 1930s.  The International Institute of Teachers College, established in 1923, set out to implement “(1) training of foreign students, (2) surveys and research of educational systems, and (3) training of educational missionaries.”[1]  Paul Monroe and William Russell were instrumental in its establishment and brought together some of the premiere educators in the field, most notably Isaac Kandel.  The Institute also began issuing The Educational Yearbook in 1924, with Kandel as the editor, which continued to be published until 1944.  In addition, Paul Monroe, the director, also co-edited the International Yearbook of Education in 1933 with Nicholas Hans.  While relatively short lived (the Institute lost funding in 1938), the Institute served as a hub for comparative and international education during a very exciting time in both of their histories.

[1] LiPing Bu, “International Activism and Comparative Education: Pioneering Efforts of the International Institute of Teachers College, Columbia University,” Comparative Education Review 41, no. 4 (November 1997): 417.

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