Archive Deep Dive: A TC President’s Critique of Education

| February 22, 2019

Just over 10 years ago, John H. Fischer passed away at the age of 99. He was the 6th President of Teachers College from 1962-1974.

But it was for his work before his stint at Columbia University that he first came into the national spotlight. In 1954, the Supreme Court issued its landmark desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education. As Superintendent of schools in Baltimore, Fischer was the principal driving force behind Maryland becoming the first large city in America to enforce desegregation.

Fischer’s Realities of Education in Our Time, published in 1968, exemplified his progressive attitude towards reforming traditional schooling based on outdated assumptions. It is an interesting reminder of the state of education toward the end of the 20th century. Fischer also compared the rising trend of schools acting as sieves to assist only the brightest students, the ones most receptive to traditional schooling systems, to a form of segregation.

From the article:

Young people have to acquire facility in both mathematics and science not because their own town considers science important or because a nearby university has installed a cyclotron, but because of the character of the twentieth century.

Visit PocketKnowledge to download and read the complete article (8 pages – 15 minute read).

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