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Last Updated: Nov 8, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Topics in Education History Print Page

Educators and Theorists

  • Frederick Barnard (1809–1889): Topic Page
    American educator and mathematician, b. Sheffield, Mass. During his long administration (1864–89), Columbia grew from a small undergraduate college of 150 students into one of the nation's great universities, with an enrollment of 1,500. MORE
  • Catherine Beecher (1800-1878): Topic Page
    Educator and writer, born in East Hampton, New York, USA. After her fiance’s death (1823), she founded the Hartford Female Seminary, launching a life-long campaign as lecturer, writer, and advocate for women’s education. MORE
  • John Dewey (1859-1952): Topic Page
    Dewey’s belief that the method of enquiry, the scientific method, should be applied to practical problems lent philosophical support to the rise and the vogue of the social sciences. MORE
  • Charles W. Eliot (1834–1926): Topic Page
    American educator and president of Harvard, b. Boston, grad. Harvard, 1853. Under Eliot's 40-year administration, Harvard developed from a small college with attached professional schools into a great modern university. MORE
  • Friedrich Froebel (1782–1852): Topic Page
    German educator and founder of the kindergarten system. Froebel stressed the importance of pleasant surroundings, self-activity, and physical training in the development of the child. MORE
  • Horace Mann (1796–1859): Topic Page
    American educator. Was made secretary of the newly created (1837) state board of education at a time when the public school system was in very bad condition. MORE
  • Maria Montessori (1870-1952): Topic Page
    Single-handedly revolutionized teaching methods for preschool and infant children. MORE
  • Jean Piaget (1896-1980): Topic Page
    Although Piaget is internationally known for his work in child psychology, he regarded his work as a contribution to genetic epistemology, i.e. the theory of knowledge directed upon the development (genesis) of knowledge. MORE
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778): Topic Page
    Swiss-French philosopher, author, political theorist, and composer. What was new and important about his educational philosophy, as outlined in Émile, was its rejection of the traditional ideal: education was not seen to be the imparting of all things to be known to the uncouth child; rather it was seen as the "drawing out" of what is already there, the fostering of what is native. MORE
  • Booker T. Washington (1856–1915): Topic Page
    , American educator, b. Franklin co., Va. Under his direction, Tuskegee Institute became one of the leading African-American educational institutions in America. MORE
  • Emma Willard (1787-1870): Topic Page
    In the history of women’s education in the United States, Emma Willard was one of the first to advocate high schools for girls and the establishment of women’s colleges. MORE


  • Affirmative Action: Topic Page
    In the United States, programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women. MORE
  • Brown v Board of Education: Topic Page
    Case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954. Linda Brown was denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka because she was black. MORE
  • Civil Rights: Topic Page
    The rights guaranteed by the state to its citizens. It incorporates the belief that governments should not arbitrarily act to infringe these rights, and that individuals and groups, through political action, have a legitimate role in determining and influencing what constitutes them. MORE
  • Desegregation: Topic Page
    The process of ending separation or isolation of a group who were restricted by law or custom to separate living areas, public facilities, educational institutions, etc MORE

Institution Types

  • Charter School: Topic Page
    Alternative type of American public school that, while paid for by taxes, is independent of the public-school system and relatively free from state and local regulations. MORE
  • Community College
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Public institution of higher education. Community colleges are characterized by a two-year curriculum that leads to either the associate degree or transfer to a four-year college.MORE
  • Kindergarten
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Friedrich Froebel designed (1837) the kindergarten to provide an educational situation less formal than that of the elementary school but one in which children's creative play instincts would be organized constructively. MORE
  • Library: Topic Page
    A collection of books or other written or printed materials, as well as the facility in which they are housed and the institution that is responsible for their maintenance. MORE
  • School: Topic Page
    Term commonly referring to institutions of pre-college formal education. It also properly includes colleges, universities, and many types of special training establishments. MORE
  • Sunday School: Topic Page
    Institution for instruction in religion and morals, usually conducted in churches as part of the church organization but sometimes maintained by other religious or philanthropic bodies. MORE
  • University: Topic Page
    Institution of higher learning for those who have completed primary and secondary education. MORE


  • Cambridge University
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    At Cambridge, England, one of the oldest English-language universities in the world. MORE
  • Columbia University: Topic Page
    Mainly in New York City; founded 1754 as King's College by grant of King George II; first college in New York City, fifth oldest in the United States; one of the eight Ivy League institutions. MORE
  • Harvard University: Topic Page
    Mainly at Cambridge, Mass., including Harvard College, the oldest American college. MORE
  • Oxford University
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    At Oxford, England, one of the oldest English-language universities in the world. MORE
  • Rutgers University: Topic Page
    Main campus at New Brunswick, N.J.; land-grant and state supported; coeducational except for Douglass College; chartered 1766 as Queen's College, opened 1771. MORE
  • Yale University: Topic Page
    At New Haven, Conn.; coeducational. Chartered as a collegiate school for men in 1701... MORE

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