Playing Out the Education Program: Fall 2017

| January 12, 2018

Students Of The School Of Practical Arts, Teachers College, Showing The Costumes Of The Many Activities. (Date Not Known)_mediumOne hundred years ago, Teachers College hosted a Players Club, comprised of female students from various departments who were interested in dramatics. In 1918, they produced several plays, raised funds to assist war efforts, and donated costumes and properties to a Teachers College graduate working in a soldier’s recreation center in France.

That same year, the Fifth Annual Festival at Teachers College sported a dramatic performance, Caps and Capers, described as a “play of many parts under the direction of Mid-Year Madness and led by his Minions, Witless Wag, a lively loiterer, and Weary Waggles, a lazy Laggard.” Featuring stunts by various organizations and prevailing “antics and nonsense”, The Players Club, among other student groups and academic departments, were key to success. Some may say a little light relief, enhanced by an occasional Shakespeare Festival or two, was needed during a most difficult period in world history…. Queen Eleanor_ Detail Of GL00-BB04-FF04-DR05-0022_medium

Enter the Gottesman Players, October 2017, an exciting time for our library. With the grand opening of the Smith Learning Theater, the staff worked tirelessly to produce custom-designed, high-tech, immersive educational events, while delivering a robust program of library-sponsored offerings via the Education Program. Thanks to all the Teachers College Players, to whom we are indebted for their interest in and support for the library, attendance peaked at an all time high, as major educational issues, topics, and concerns came center stage.

Book talks addressed Finnish education and its relevance to American school reform; the influence of El Chavo del Ocho, a popular t.v. show, on Latin American childhood, schooling and society; principles for inclusion in the classroom; support for breakaway learners; gun violence prevention; quantitative ethnography; relevance of conversation analysis to teaching; the art of good learning; education across Latin America; the impact of male child sexual abuse victims on adult relationships; and new frameworks for research on teacher preparation. While we celebrated authors from both inside and outside Teachers College, we collaborated with several academic departments (Curriculum and Teaching; Arts and Humanities; International and Transcultural Studies; Math, Science, and Technology), as well as Teachers College Press, the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, and Alumni Relations.

Guest talks explored the animated GIF; curriculum development in Mexico; Wearable Media; student research, as well as human rights in Africa; change in teacher education; and resources for Chinese bilingual educators. These guest talks were coordinated with the Departments of Math, Science, and Technology; International and Transcultural Studies; and Curriculum and Teaching, as well as Edlab; the George Clement Bond Center for African Education; and the Program in Bilingual and Bicultural Education.

Instruction comprised tours and orientations for new students, doctoral students, and international students, with record numbers, many thanks to outreach by Student Activities and International Services. For a second season, and in coordination with the Department of Arts and Humanities, we hosted the Career Development Program — four workshops tailored for students in Arts and Humanities/Curriculum and Teaching. We co-sponsored with TC Future Child Advocates the second annual Child Abuse Prevention Program, boasting a live puppet show. We conducted seven research workshops, including research basics, lit review, citation searching, K-12, grant seeking (all with rhizrs), and promoted the Smith Learning Theater’s Out of This World Introduction (aka, Mission to Mars), as well as a workshop on planning a theater event. An Art Exploration Party, offered by the Art Education Program, as well as visits from Abby, TC’s certified dog therapist, rounded off the semester, with Burgandi Rakoska, TC’s Health and Well Being Student Senator who welcomed visitors. Two course-specific workshops met with great success — students delving into historical research prompted by artifacts (objects, texts, images): Historical Foundations of Art Education and Nursing Education History for Nurse Executives.

Live musical performances featured highly-talented, returning musicians — Wadsworth Strings, Kambujo, Ann Teed, and Melissa Shetler — as well as two new great sets — Angelica Tran and The Stairwell Singers. The Everett Cafe music program brought an eclectic mix of classical sounds, Peruvian jazz, American folk, vocal jazz, and choral/acapella, with audiences gathering attentively on the Russell stairwells as notes wafted clearly over the Gothic arches.

While staff curated news from around the world each day, special news displays each week highlighted key educational stories (International Literacy Day, Boston School Busing, Hull House, Integration at Central High, Pledge of Allegiance, Sesame Street, Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act, as well as influential Teachers College educators and happenings — John Dewey, William Heard Kilpatrick, Mary Swartz Rose, Founders Day — and other milestones in science and technology, daring and adventure, and democratic government: Sputnik, Barrel Ride Down Niagara, The Great Smog, 10th Amendment, Apollo 8.

Interesting book displays in the Everett Cafe reflected current affairs, education, and/or learning environments: A Cure for What Ails You: Dr. Feelgood’s Quick Fix Elixir, on health care reform; Death and Taxes, in anticipation of government shut-down and new budgeting; and Smoking Guns, Smoking Mirrors, invoking concern for gun violence and control. Staff Picks were curated with great care each month to highlight resources on educational topics and themes of special interest: Award-Winning Children’s Books to Read and Read Again, by Kaitlin Kehnemuyi; The Common Thread: Domestic Arts and Handcraft, by Jasmine Sykes-Kunke; Ballot Boxing: Winning and Losing the Right to Vote, by Anika Paris; and Silver Anniversary Picture Books, by Simone Schloss.

With thanks to the Design Team, three art installations were launched: Keepsake, by Clara Santamaria and Jonathan Sparks; Future Textile Library, by Wearable Media; and Anna Kushner and Alex Wojcik’s Trans Day of Remembrance, an annual memorial (November 17-20) honoring lives lost throughout the world in acts of anti-transgender violence. Significant to all three exhibitions were tasteful lighting and color: LED, candle, and/or fairy, enhanced by luminescent pastels; vibrant cloths; and/or delicate pink garlands.

Self-guided offerings entailed monthly promotion of research resources in support of current offerings (Health Education, Economics and Education, Politics and Education, Holidays and Celebrations), and online discussions of events and library instruction tutorials, as promoted via the library news.

Quoting Jacques, the moral philosopher and a favorite, though melancholy part for many Shakespearean actors, we appreciate our roles, with a tip of the hat to Sir John Gieguld whose beautiful delivery soothes like a soft wave over the sand. Our world, education, where we shape collective experience that runs a natural course called life.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

— William Shakespeare, As You Like It. Act II, Scene VII in Another Part of the Forest. lines 147-151.

Color Schemes_medium






Education Program Fall 2017 Offerings Attendees
Book 11 311
Guest 8 257
Tours 10 120
Workshops 23 626
Online Discussions 9 n/a
Self Guided 6 n/a
Live Musical Performances 10 n/a
Displays & Exhibits
Special News 16 n/a
Regular News 76 n/a
Book Collections 7 n/a
Installations – Gallery 3 n/a
Total 178 1314


Students Of The School Of Practical Arts, Teachers College, Showing The Costumes Of The Many Activities. (Date Not Known) (n/a, 1900-1950), by Photographer: Unknown. From the Historical Photographs of Teachers College. Courtesy of of the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Queen Eleanor: Detail Of GL00-BB04-FF04-DR05-0022 (n/a, 1904-1922), by Unknown. From the Students of Arthur Wesley Dow Collection. Courtesy of of the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Color Schemes (1923), by Mary Elizabeth McNeeley. From the McNeeley Costume Drawings Collection. Courtesy of of the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College, Columbia University.