Joint MA/MBA

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.

Eduardo Briceño, MA/MBA '07, founded Mindset Works to provide growth-mindset training to educators and students.


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. 

Few teaching materials in 1973 addressed African or African-American culture. So Stanford’s Black Volunteer Center compiled its own, edited by Grace Carroll Massey, '71, MA ’72, PhD ’75, right, with Marilyn Monmouth, Linda (Spears-) Bunton, MA ’71, and Kimble Smith. Massey became renowned for her research on race and stress, while Spears-Bunton leads the English Education graduate program at Florida International University.
The Stanford Daily


Wait time

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. 

A chance encounter with Albert Einstein led Mary Rowe to seek joy in science and to perfect its teaching.
University of Florida Archives


CERAS opens

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 Center to Support Excellence in Teaching, the Center for Education Policy Analysis and STEP are among GSE programs housed in CERAS today.


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. 

Stanford Graduate School of Business


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.

Myra Strober in the mid-1970s.
Stanford News Service


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.”

David Tyack in 1988.
Stanford News Service


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.

Stanford News Service


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.

Literacy-education expert Prof. Robert Calfee coauthored Inside Schools, a layperson's version of the 1987 study. He later founded Project READ and helped develop the LeapPad learning tablet.
Ed Souza


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.

Through the school's PhD program in Counseling PsychologyThoresen, MA '60, PhD '64, influences practitioners to employ educational interventions far beyond the traditional classroom setting.

The landmark paper. Thoresen's latest work explores the interface of spirituality and health.


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. 

Prof. Nel Noddings in 1988.
Chuck Painter/Stanford News Service


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. Lee Shulman leads a September 2011 master class at the National University of Singapore Teaching Academy.
National University of Singapore Teaching Academy


Working together

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.

Prof. Elizabeth Cohen in 1977.
Chuck Painter/Stanford News Service


Policy leader

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.

The university's centennial featured this Sept. 30, 1991 panel on “Moving the 21st Century Into the Classroom” with then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, who announced his presidential run three days later. Dean Marshall Smith is fourth from left. Harvard president emeritus Derek Bok, '51, is at right.


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.

Kenji Hakuta, the Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education, studies how bilingualism confers cognitive advantages on students. His popular MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) and other initiatives support educators in navigating these issues.
Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service


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.

Kids explore Learning Design and Technology master’s projects at the 2013 LDT Expo.
Chris Wesselman


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.

Heath and McLaughlin trained 40 teens to be "junior ethnographers" who interviewed peers in three inner cities. The findings: Even young people who have joined gangs can be drawn to more productive alternatives, but they need bona fide challenges and a sense of belonging.


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.

Prof. Linda Darling-Hammond, speaking in 2015, emphasizes teaching skills such as teamwork and problem solving that will serve students in a rapidly changing world.
Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service


Gardner Center opens

The John 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.

John W. Gardner "was very committed to youth and to young people and saw them as really the resource for community-building, but he said you’ve got to go beyond those institutional boundaries," McLaughlin remembers. "The role of the Gardner Center is to look across those institutional boundaries.”


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 practice.

She fosters collaborations with K-12 schools that further the School of Education’s goal of improving teaching and learning for all people. 

Dean Deborah Stipek soon after taking office in 2001.
Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service


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.

2005 East Palo Alto Academy graduate Loa Toki celebrates with family. Commencement on the Stanford campus is an academy tradition.


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

Remains of New York City's World Trade Center.
Wikimedia Commons


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.

Prof. Larry Cuban
Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service


History without tears

Prof. Sam Wineburg founds the Stanford History Education Group to incubate ideas about teaching history and disciplinary literacy in creative ways.

The group crafts hundreds of free lessons, assessments and the Reading Like a Historian curriculum, downloaded 4.4 million times. 

Sam Wineburg, the Margaret Jacks Professor of Education, speaks at the Cantor Arts Center in 2012.
Christopher Wesselman


Charting tech’s role in education

The Learning Sciences and Technology Design PhD concentration enrolls its first students.

Susie Wise, PhD '11, explains the learning environment she helped design for Hillsborough's Nueva School.
Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service

Steeples of excellence
Shaping the future