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ERIC Number: EJ931209
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
Bridging the "Widest Street in the World": Reflections on the History of Teacher Education
Mirel, Jeffrey
American Educator, v35 n2 p6-12 Sum 2011
For at least a half century, education reformers have quipped that 120th Street in New York City, the street that separates Teachers College from the rest of Columbia University, "is the widest street in the world." Underlying this quip is the belief that Columbia's liberal arts faculty members regularly dismiss the child-centered educational methods promoted by their colleagues at Teachers College as at best misguided and at worst anti-intellectual. In turn, professors at Teachers College routinely denounce their liberal arts colleagues as musty traditionalists who fail to recognize that most elementary and secondary students in American schools find discipline-based education useless and irrelevant to their lives. And for more than a century, teacher educators and their colleagues in the liberal arts have failed to collaborate in linking two of the most vital aspects of the instructional experience--subject matter and pedagogy. Today, however, with the movement toward a common core curriculum and the growing influence of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in schools and colleges of education, there is a new and exciting opportunity to span the subject matter and methods divide. Realizing this opportunity will take a great deal of work, long-term commitments, and lots of goodwill. But if the last century of failed unilateral reforms teaches people anything, it is that both sides need each other and that even the widest street in the educational world can be bridged if colleagues on both sides agree to meet each other halfway. (Contains 40 endnotes.)
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A