A founding department
Jane and Leland Stanford open their “university of high degree” on their Palo Alto stock farm. The emerging academic field of education is one of its departments, exemplifying the founders’ vision of practical and progressive schooling.
Popular from the start
Practice teaching joins the curriculum. The department has 50 majors, and 20 percent of the Stanford student body takes coursework in the department.
Ellwood P. Cubberley arrives
Cubberley, a former school superintendent with an avocation for science, becomes department chair. Under his leadership, Stanford forges a tradition of data-driven research balanced with theory and practical training.
The Education Department has 100 majors.
The School of Education is born
Stanford trustees elevate the Education Department to a School of Education with Cubberley as founding dean. They aim to create a training institution of high standing comparable to schools of law and medicine. Undergrads enter in their junior year after two years of discipline-based coursework.
The school has 509 students: 432 in graduate status and 77 undergraduate majors.
The hall that textbooks built
Cubberley retires. He and his wife, Helen, give Stanford the invested proceeds from his many books – some $367,000 – for a School of Education building and the Cubberley Lecture Series, which continues today.
Hanna and his house
Paul Hanna arrives at Stanford in fall 1935 as an associate professor of elementary education. He immediately commissions his hero Frank Lloyd Wright to build him a radical new home on campus, planned on a hexagonal grid. The Hanna House raises eyebrows for its audacity. So does Hanna, who eventually proves his worth to Stanford as a networker as well as an educator.
Disciplinary research focus
Historian of education Isaac James Quillen joins the faculty. As dean starting in 1954, he will bring world-caliber social scientists to the School of Education and raise its reputation for research.
Cubberley's building opens. The massive structure expands Stanford’s classroom capacity by 15 percent and, as the Depression lingers, sends a message as to the status and impact of the School of Education at Stanford.
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.
A grant is received to fund the Center for Research and Development in Teaching.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Charting tech’s role in education
The Learning Sciences and Technology Design PhD concentration enrolls its first students.
The Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP), hitherto focused on secondary education, adds a master’s program in elementary-school training.
Barnum Center opens
Barnum Family Center for School and Community Partnerships opens.
Lee Shulman, education professor emeritus and director
of the Carnegie Institute of Education housed at Stanford, wins the Grawemeyer
Prize for his 2004 book The Wisdom
Essays on Teaching, Learning and Learning to Teach.
Hear Shulman's oral history, conducted by Michael Kirst for the Stanford Historical Society.
The Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice (IREPP) is established. Its rigorous and systematic research and analysis is informed by the realities of educational settings.
Faculty members unanimously decide to make their scholarly articles available online for free to the public, becoming the first education school in the nation to do so.
Responding to student interest, the School of Education forms an undergraduate minor to prepare students for careers in teaching, crafting policy and managing schools.
Innovating for Brazil
The school and the Lemann Foundation open the Lemann Center for Educational Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Brazil, a 10-year venture headquartered at CERAS that develops new approaches to learning, especially among low-income students, both in and out of the Brazilian school system.
The MOOC era
Prof. Daniel McFarland puts his Organizational Analysis class on the web as a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and draws 44,501 participants from 70 countries.
“I gained a lot of respect for TV actors,” McFarland notes. “Every minute they watched, I wanted to give them something meaningful and succinct.”
A new name: The GSE
The school is renamed the Stanford Graduate School of Education, reflecting its mission of advanced training in research, policy and leadership.
Funding future teachers
STEP announces its Teaching Fellowships, which underwrite the full cost of tuition starting with the MA Class of ’16 for up to five students pursuing a teaching career.
Training entrepreneurial leaders
The first Executive Program for Education Leaders, latest in several joint ventures of the GSE and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, helps superintendents develop entrepreneurial leadership skills.
In partnership with the school, a group of dedicated alumni
launch the Alumni Excellence in Education Award to recognize the outstanding
contributions of GSE-trained teachers, principals, scholars, innovators and
Graduate School of Education celebrates its first 100 years
The school rooted in Stanford's earliest days marks a century of leadership in teaching and learning.