Chapter 7. Round NumbersThe first contact between the two forces occurred during the height of anti-Rockefeller publicity in 1902:
Hardly had Dr. Buttrick opened his two-room office on Nassau Street in 1902 when a request came from Dr. James E. Russell, dean of Columbia University's Teachers College, and there was a note of urgency about it. The morning's mail had already brought in two letters from the South, Russell explained, and each day would bring in more - all from teachers seeking scholarship aid so that they might come North to complete their professional training ... The General Education Board acted promptly, and within a few weeks scholarships of $300 each had been awarded to six normal school teachers in the South.The innocent precedent was set, and the game was on. Teachers College needed money in order to accommodate its growing enrollment, expand its curriculum, and "influence American education, in accord with and even beyond its ambitions." Dean Russell was to find his stable base of funding in the Rockefeller fortune, as expressed in this letter from John, Jr., to Russell in late 1902:
As a thank offering to Almighty God for the preservation of his family and household on the occasion of the destruction by fire of his country home at Pocantico Hills, New York, on the night of Sept. 17, 1902, my Father makes the following pledge:As a result, Teachers College experienced a meteoric rise":
Only fifteen years after the move to 120th Street, Teachers College will meet the Rockefeller endowment terms and cover an entire city block crammed with seven buildings. Its facilities will operate from early morning to ten o'clock in the evening, for ten months of the year ... Its enrollment is to be exceeded in size by only ten universities in the entire United States; only Columbia, Harvard, and Chicago will have more students seeking advanced education in 1912 as, amazingly, Teachers College becomes the fourth largest graduate school in the nation.Thus Teachers College was able to expand at a time critical to its success and hard on the heels of a massive population increase among school-age children. The number of public school enrollments reflected this increase, rising from 9,900,000 in 1880 to 12,700,000 only ten years later, and continuing to rise rapidly thereafter. The number of colleges increased from 350 in 1880 to nearly 500 in 1900, with college enrollment doubling over the same period, and continuing to expand into the early years of the new century. There was an urgent need for teachers, and Teachers College was now firmly established and ready to fill that need with a methodology most schools of education didn't have - "educational" psychology.
The year after Rockefeller's General Education Board had set Teachers College financially on its feet, Thorndike published the first volume of his masterwork, Educational Psychology. By 1904, he was entrenched as full professor and head of the new department of educational psychology at Teachers College. That same year, after a decade in Chicago experimenting with children, John Dewey joined the faculty of Columbia University as a member of the departments of philosophy and education, in a unique position to influence advanced students in Teachers College. With Russell, Cattell, Thorndike, and the other Wundtians, Dewey set the ball rolling for an amalgam of "educational" psychology and socialism. It became known as "Progressive Education" and, emanating from Columbia's Teachers College for the next half-century, it slowly but surely became commonplace in every school in the country.
(end of chapter 7)
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Suggested Reading List - the Demise of the Educational System - OBE (Outcome-Based Education), NEA (National Education Association), educational psychology, German psychology & influences, demise of public education, educational sabotage, Wundt, Pavlov, Dewey, Skinner, Watson.
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