Educating the world
School of Education Dean Grayson Kefauver, a specialist in comparative international education, helps to create UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization, and becomes its U.S. chief delegate.
Prof. Alvin C. Eurich, an educational
psychologist, is elected president of the American Educational Research Association.
He’s the first of eight scholars to serve in this role while at Stanford. They
include Nathaniel Gage, Lee Cronbach, Patrick Suppes, Lee Shulman, Larry Cuban,
Elliot Eisner and most recently Arnetha Ball.
With growing global role, more funding
Eurich helps found the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), a powerful magnet for research dollars that is divested from the university in the 1970s amid concerns over its classified defense work. In 1948, he serves as acting university president after the sudden death of Donald Tresidder.
Hear Eurich's oral history, conducted by the Stanford Historical Society.
The Baby Boom
GI-Bill veterans and their families, including hundreds of would-be teachers, begin to flood the campus.
School of Education enrollment hits a record 600, fraying faculty nerves and straining resources. Dean Allen Bartky emphasizes training teachers and administrators. The school designs a five-year MA/credential for undergraduates that runs between 1951 and 1964.
Prof. Lee Cronbach publishes his equation to measure internal consistency in a set of psychometric test results. “Cronbach’s alpha,” as he calls it, gains wide use throughout the social sciences.
Planning for the boom
James D. McConnell, known to his students as “Dr. Mac,” founds the School
Planning Laboratory. Modular classrooms, flexible
scheduling and data-driven facilities planning are all School Planning Lab
Prof. Pat Sears, an educational psychologist, and her husband, Prof. Robert Sears, come to Stanford. Their hiring strikes a blow to anti-nepotism rules that inhibit two-career academic families.
Pat Sears’ research on intellectually gifted women strikes a blow to midcentury stereotypes by suggesting that they are happier than average.
First endowed faculty chairs
Gifts from the Jacks family create the school’s first
two (and Stanford’s 6th and 7th) endowed professorships,
initially awarded to Paul Hanna and William Cowley. The Jacks gifts, totaling
$10 million, are Stanford’s largest since the university’s founding.
Today, the Graduate School of Education has four Jacks faculty chairs and 18 endowed chairs in all.
Steeples of excellence
Quillen becomes dean. In line with University President Wallace Sterling’s aim to build “steeples of excellence” in a world-class research university, he hires eminent discipline-based scholars and emphasizes social-science inquiry.
The Stanford Teacher Education Program begins with a $900,000 gift from the Ford Foundation.
Professors Robert Bush and Dwight Allen develop a teacher-training strategy that allows teacher candidates to teach, get feedback, act on that feedback and be re-critiqued within a single 50-minute class period.
Microteaching, as Allen calls it, focuses on five- to fifteen-minute portions of lesson plans. Initially, lessons are videotaped using one of the first portable video cameras. Later refinements of the technique rely on peer feedback.
The road to happenstance
Prof. John D. Krumboltz, an expert in social decision making, joins the school's program in counseling psychology. He goes on to reshape the field of career development with his Happenstance Learning Theory lauding the value of exploratory actions as a way of generating beneficial unplanned events.
To this end, he opposes a 1990s proposal to restore the "F" as a grading option at Stanford, arguing "it will discourage people from taking risks to learn new things."
In 2004, Krumboltz co-authors a widely read distillation of his research, Luck Is No Accident: Making the Most of Happenstance in Your Life and Career.
CERAS is conceived
Quillen begins discussion on a national education research center at Stanford, the future CERAS.
Internationally renowned linguist Robert L. Politzer joins the faculty. A pioneer in applying quantitative methods to language-related data, Politzer continues his contributions to the field of language learning and supervises more than 200 Stanford doctoral students.
An Austrian émigré who lost most of his family in the Holocaust, Politzer “took affirmative action long before there was such a thing,” former student Mary McGroarty, PhD ’82, wrote after Politzer’s death in 1998.
He “acted on the conviction that one could not theorize, investigate, or prescribe the language behavior adequately without including women and men, old and young, and native speakers of all varieties studied, not just as informants but as active researchers and interpreters of data and shapers of the policies related to those interpretations,” wrote McGroarty, later president of the American Association for Applied Linguistics.
Learn how Politzer influenced a kindergartner to make language his career.
A grant is received to fund the Center for Research and Development in Teaching.
'Scholar-doers' for international development education: SIDEC
Prof. Paul Hanna founds the Stanford International Development Education Center (SIDEC) to study education as an aid to economic, political and social progress in developing countries.
SIDEC and its successor master’s and doctoral programs in International Comparative Education (ICE) count among their alumni past presidents of Peru, the Maldives and Guatemala; the adviser of the Secretariat of Public Education in Mexico City; and ministers of education in Tanzania and Kenya as well as policy makers, researchers and education professors across the globe.
Policy and research
H. Thomas James becomes dean. He furthers the school’s
reputation in advanced training and social-science research, and his close
connections with Stanford administration help secure its standing and funding
within the broader university.
With such hires as Michael Kirst, a Washington policy analyst who later leads the California Board of Education, James adds a focus on policy that distinguishes the school today.
Hear Kirst's oral history, conducted by the Stanford Historical Society.
The Peace Corps sends SIDEC researcher Prof. Robert
Textor’s book Cultural Frontiers of the
Peace Corps to its 10,000 global volunteers.
At SIDEC, Textor developed ethnographic futures research, a way to use the insights of cultural anthropology to study people’s ideas about the future, their values, and their concepts of change.
The U.S. Department of Education gives $4.2 million for the future CERAS building.
Taking the mic
At a university panel on response to Martin Luther King’s assassination, 70 members of Stanford’s Black Student Union take the microphone from Provost Richard Lyman. Frank Omowale Satterwhite, a doctoral candidate in higher education, reads 10 demands to boost African-American representation at Stanford.
Nine of the 10 demands are accepted with guidance from Prof. Robert Hess, an expert in urban education whose research before coming to Stanford laid the foundations for the federal Head Start program. Hess offers to guide Stanford’s initiative to increase and support African-American undergraduate enrollment.
Joyce E. King, ’69, PhD ’74, then an undergraduate, is inspired to enter education after working in the Stanford president's office as a liaison to experimental admits, a program that was one of the 10 demands. King later became president of the American Educational Research Association.