Today in History: Leta Hollingworth Is Born

| May 25, 2018

20180525_SpecialNewsDisplayAt least twice a year pre-schoolers from the Hollingworth Center at Teachers College come visit the library, bearing sprinkled sugar cookies each December and posies in ribbon each May. We’ll stumble upon a group intently perusing the children’s literature section on the second floor in the Fall, and hear little voices singing traditional American folk full heartedly on the library steps sometime in the Spring — what better way to lift the spirits, reminding us of our childhoods, our children, and the significance of early learning and teaching!

The Hollingworth Center is designed to provide internship and training opportunities for the graduate students of Teachers College, develop model programs in early childhood education, and offer enriched educational services for children, families, and educators. Named after Leta Hollingsworth, it was established by Professor James Borland and Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs in 1981, and since then it has been internationally recognized for exemplary programs, grant projects, teacher development efforts, and research contributions.

Leta Stetter Hollingworth (25 May 1886 – 27 November 1939) was an American psychologist who pioneered research in the fields of gifted education and the psychology of women. She earned her MA and Ph’D from Teachers College, Columbia University and served as as Instructor in Educational Psychology, then as Assistant Professor of Education, and finally Associate Professor of Education at Teachers College where she remained for the rest of her life. Among her students was Carl Rogers, a founder of the humanistic approach to psychology. Hollingworth’s publications include works on intelligence testing, gifted children, and special disabilities. Hollingorth also led the Speyer School, an experimental school for exceptional learners in the 1930s.

The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.


  • See archival materials on Leta Hollingsworth in Pocketknowledge, the digital archive of Teachers College.
  • Read more about the Speyer School.
  • Books by Leta S. Hollingsworth via Educat, the catalog of the Gottesman Libraries.


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