The school confers its first joint degree with Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, launching an era of interschool collaboration to produce entrepreneurial education leaders.
Challenge and change
Arthur Coladarci becomes dean amid a time of declining enrollment and budget cuts.
Well-liked by senior faculty though feared by students for his rigor, he begins steps to diversify the school’s faculty and student body.
Mary Budd Rowe, PhD ’64, introduces the concept of wait time as an instructional variable. She finds that lengthening the silence between a teacher’s question and the student’s answer yields remarkable gains in student language and logic.
Rowe, a longtime professor at the University of Florida, returned to Stanford to teach from 1990 to her death in 1996.
The Center for Educational Research at Stanford initially houses labs for quantitative research, school planning and child development. It remains a vital research and social hub for the GSE.
The Garbage Can Model
Prof. James G. March coauthors “A Garbage Can Model of Organizational Choice,” a method of explaining how colleges function that becomes a milestone in modern organization theory.
Champion for cultural democracy
Alfredo Castañeda, an expert in multicultural education, joins the school’s faculty. He
is the first Chicano appointed full professor at Stanford.
Women's studies pioneer
Labor economist Prof. Myra Strober, founder of Stanford’s Center for Research on Women, is tenured by the School of Education. Strober's research and leadership yields new understanding of women's contributions to economic productivity and to the greater good.
Hear Strober's oral history conducted by the Stanford Historical Society.
Read her thoughts on work-family balance in her speech at the GSE's 2017 Commencement.
Tyack’s touchstone text
Prof. David Tyack publishes The One Best System: A History of American Urban Education.
Influential and accessible, it outlines the transformation from 19th-century village school to urban bureaucracy in a way that, one reviewer wrote, offers “an explanation for unequal outcomes that did not discount the possibility of a more democratic future.”
Focus on practice
Prof. Myron Atkin becomes dean. After nearly two decades of leadership that emphasized strong research, Atkin will reconnect the school and its faculty to educational practice.
Schools hit the news
After public outcry over “A Nation at Risk,” a federal report lamenting the state of U.S. education, University President Donald Kennedy joins other education leaders in pledging his institution’s resources toward improving public schools.
Kennedy and Atkin follow through with Stanford and the Schools, a three-year, $1.1 million study of local K-12 districts that the School of Education publishes in 1987.
Educating for health
The American Heart Journal publishes Prof. Carl Thoresen’s findings that altering Type A behavior reduces mortality and morbidity in people who have had heart attacks.
The ethic of care
Prof. Nel Noddings publishes Caring: A Relational Approach to Ethics and Moral Education. She introduces the ethic of care – the obligation to relate to others and to treat them well based on this caring relationship – as a fundamental aspect of teaching and learning.
Pedagogical content knowledge
Arguing against a 1980s emphasis on pedagogy in teacher training and assessment, Prof. Lee Shulman seeks closer attention to “the fundamental connections between knowing and teaching.”
He publishes his concept of pedagogical content knowledge: Rather than treating teaching method and instructional content as separate fields to master, successful teachers master a synthesis that roots their teaching strategy in qualities specific to the subject matter.
Prof. Elizabeth Cohen publishes Designing Groupwork: Strategies for the Heterogeneous Classroom. Cohen uses sociological theories to champion success for all children. Her research inspires others to work toward equity in education.
After Cohen's death in 2005, Prof. Rachel Lotan publishes the third edition, now available in several languages.
Marshall S. Smith becomes dean. He diversifies the faculty and student body, ties their research more firmly to practice by involving the school in policymaking, and forges bonds within Stanford that protect the school during budget cuts.
In 1990, Smith and Jennifer O'Day write a paper setting out the structure and arguments for standards-based education reform, an interest of then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton.
Smith leaves Stanford in 1993 to become President Clinton’s undersecretary of education. The research informs the education legislation that Clinton sends to Congress, where it passes in 1994.
Supporting English learners
Bilingualism expert Prof. Kenji Hakuta comes to Stanford. With Prof. Guadalupe Valdes, he later cofounds the Understanding Language Initiative to support teachers of English-language learners.
Anticipating tech’s future
Richard Shavelson becomes dean. On his watch, the school creates a Learning Design and Technology master’s program, enhances its teacher education program to address 21st-century challenges, and compiles a strong record of securing external funding.
Giving youth a voice
Profs. Milbrey McLaughlin and Shirley Brice Heath win the $150,000 Grawemeyer Prize in Education for their book Identity and Inner City Youth: Beyond Ethnicity and Gender.
Looking back on past efforts
Tyack and Cuban publish Tinkering Toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform. The book documents the tension between Americans’ deep faith in education and the challenge of improving schools.
Crusader for equity
Prof. Linda Darling-Hammond comes to Stanford. She burnishes the School of Education’s reputation as a policy leader by mapping America’s growing educational inequity and outlining paths to reform. Her 2010 book The Flat World and Education wins the Grawemeyer Prize.
Gardner Center opens
W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities, honoring one of Stanford's most influential alumni, opens with Milbrey McLaughlin as founding director.
As U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Gardner, ’33, MA ’36, founded the Title 1 program for low-income children. He served as president of the Carnegie Corporation; as chair of the National Urban Coalition, and as founder of Common Cause. His views and activism shaped groundbreaking endeavors including the White House Fellows Program, public television and Medicare.
Balancing research and practice: The Stipek era
Prof. Deborah Stipek becomes dean. An expert on motivational
theory, Stipek embodies the school’s balance between social science, theory and
She fosters collaborations with K-12 schools that further the School of Education’s goal of improving teaching and learning for all people.
Rising to the challenge
Partnering with East Palo Alto, Stanford education leaders open a charter high school. Later known as East Palo Alto Academy, the school employs innovative methods and yields graduation rates above 90 percent, far exceeding the state average for low-income students of color.
Alumni victims honored
Five Stanford alumni are killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, including School of Education graduates Naomi Solomon, '70 (French), MA '71, and Vincent M. Boland, MA '01.
Solomon, a software executive, was attending a conference in the World Trade Center's Windows on the World restaurant when the terrorists struck.
Boland, who had graduated from the School of Education's Learning, Technology and Design master's program only five months earlier, was in his Marsh & McClellan office on the 97th floor of One World Trade Center when he was killed.
University President John Hennessy announced five memorial scholarships in the victims' names. Since then, the Solomon scholarship has gone to a Stanford undergraduate.
The Vincent M. Boland Memorial Fellowship is awarded to a student in the LDT program.
Problems we solve, dilemmas we manage
Professor Larry Cuban, a scholar of the history of educational reform, publishes How Can I Fix It?: Finding Solutions and Managing Dilemmas, his “educator’s road map” to navigate the daily complexities teachers encounter in their practice. The book becomes required reading in the Stanford Teacher Education Program.
Hear Larry Cuban talk about making schools better on School’s In, the GSE’s SiriusXM radio show.
History without tears
Prof. Sam Wineburg founds the Stanford History Education Group to
incubate ideas about teaching history and disciplinary literacy in creative
The group crafts hundreds of free lessons, assessments and the Reading Like a Historian curriculum, downloaded 4.4 million times.
Charting tech’s role in education
The Learning Sciences and Technology Design PhD concentration enrolls its first students.