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ERIC Number: EJ1047581
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 68
Preparing Teachers to Remake Society: New College at Teachers College, Columbia University, 1932-1939
Murrow, Sonia E.
Critical Questions in Education, v1 n2 p51-69 Sum 2010
New College was an experimental and demonstration undergraduate teacher education program, founded in 1932 at Teachers College Columbia University, only to be shut down by the administration eight years later. Described as an "unorthodox venture," New College promised to be an alternative route to teacher education at a time when the nation was in the throws of economic and social devastation (Cremin et al, 1954, p. 222). This dramatic backdrop, "wedged between a past war and perhaps a coming war," shaped how the program was executed and eventually became marginalized (New College Yearbook, 1939, p. 6). This essay aims to illuminate New College's founders, the philosophical framework behind the program, including its strong emphasis on community education, the mostly middle class students who enrolled in it, and finally its closing in the context of social, political, economic, and international events that held the attention of professional educators and others in the 1930s. Constructed with the help of primary and secondary sources (Cremin et al, 1954; Daughtery-Mix, 1968; Zeichner and Liston, 1991), this study also aims to characterize and analyze social, economic, and political realities that shaped higher education discourse about education at a time when progressivism dominated at Teachers College, and because of its influence, many programs nationwide (Tyack and Hansot, 1983). New College aimed to prepare empathetic and knowledgeable teacher-leaders, informed by a social reconstructionist critique of American capitalism, to work for social change in a community context. Though the program eventually could not garner the financial and ideological backing it needed to survive, it still provides a compelling example through which to contemplate complex and significant teacher education reform questions in the past and present.
Descriptors: Educational History, Educational Development, Teacher Education Programs, Educational Philosophy, Community Education, Alternative Teacher Certification, Student Characteristics, Middle Class, Program Termination, Social Influences, Political Influences, Economic Impact, Curriculum Development, Educational Practices, Activism, Higher Education
Academy for Educational Studies. 2419 Berkeley Street, Springfield, MO 65804. Tel: 417-299-1560; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://academyforeducationalstudies.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York