From Stanford Report, Monday, January 14, 2013. See
Stanford renames education school to emphasize its graduate
The new name - Stanford Graduate School of Education - reflects
the school's dedication to advanced research and graduate-level
preparation of educational leaders.
By Jonathan Rabinovitz
Stanford's education school is changing its name to better reflect the
rigor of its research efforts and its preparation of scholars,
teacher-leaders, policy makers and educational managers and
The school, effective today, is adding the word "graduate"
to its name so that it now will be known as the Stanford Graduate
School of Education. [See http://ed.stanford.edu/ ]
"The faculty, students and alumni at the Graduate School of
Education are bringing expertise to the table that is vital to
transforming our schools," said Stanford University President
John Hennessy. "Our graduate school has long been a place for
educational innovation, the training of expert teachers and the
advanced study of pedagogy. Now its name is catching up with its
The change in the name also underscores how the school has extended
its graduate programs over the years. It has launched advanced-degree
programs in such areas as policy, organization and leadership studies;
the design of learning technologies; and development and psychological
sciences. And it has expanded its graduate education to include the
preparation of teachers for elementary school levels, in addition to
Home to faculty research centers
Along with these changes, a dozen or so faculty research centers have
blossomed at the school in the past decade. Studies from these centers
have shed light on growing disparities in education, offered
blueprints on how to redesign "failing" schools, developed
evidence-based guidelines for best-teaching practices and fostered
innovations in technology that could revolutionize how people learn in
and beyond classrooms.
"Our faculty has been at the forefront of providing empirical
research that offers new insights and potential solutions for the
problems plaguing today's schools," said Claude Steele, dean of
the Graduate School of Education. "The GSE remains committed to
basic research and scholarship - the pursuit of knowledge is a
primary mission of the academy - and these efforts go hand-in-hand
with developing the best educational policies and practices and
providing the best graduate education of teachers and school
"Such work, in total, is a primary source of real and lasting
change in our nation's schools - change that lasts long after the
educational fashions of the day have faded - and it is the hallmark
of a Stanford graduate education."
Established in 1891 as the Department of the History of Art and
Education, it became the Stanford University School of Education in
1917. The school early on established a strong reputation for advanced
scholarship in the field of education, drawing upon a variety of
disciplines in the ensuing decades - anthropology, economics,
history, linguistics, philosophy, psychology and sociology - to
build a deeper understanding of pedagogy and the role of schools in
sustaining democracy and strengthening the economy.
Today, its 82 faculty members, including active emeriti and other
Stanford professors with courtesy appointments, are at the forefront
of shaping public policy and public debate about education issues. In
the 2013 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings published on the
Education Week website, 11 of the 100 most-influential educational
scholars were from the Stanford Graduate School of Education.
Its faculty members have played key roles in setting the nation's
policy plans for educational technology, designing more efficient and
equitable school financing, leading efforts to develop better
standardized testing and the Common Core, and identifying strategies
that improve school, teacher and student performance.
The school proposed to add the word "graduate" to its name
last spring, prompted in part by the growing national debate about the
crises in U.S. schools despite waves of sweeping reforms. The idea is
to make policy makers and the public even more aware of the school's
advanced research addressing these issues. The Stanford University
Board of Trustees approved the new name in October.
Educating about 400 graduate students
The Graduate School of Education currently has about 400 graduate
students, half of whom are pursuing doctorates. It offers PhDs in 18
fields of study and master's degrees in six scholarly areas, as well
as joint degrees with the Stanford Graduate School of Business and
Stanford Law School. It also offers programs for Stanford
Roughly half of last year's graduates studied to become elementary and
secondary teachers, while the others prepared to pursue careers in
academia, research, business and education management.
The school's more than 13,000 alumni include teachers, school
principals and district and state superintendents; professors and
researchers; founders of Silicon Valley educational startups and
executives at major education organizations; policy makers in local,
state and federal education departments and governments worldwide; and
leaders of local and global nonprofits.
The new name also reflects the faculty and graduate student efforts to
pioneer the use of new media, the Internet and other innovations in
technology in education. These initiatives under way at the school are
not only leveraging technology to devise new educational approaches
but also studying the implications of these approaches for teaching
and for educational institutions, ranging from elementary schools to
The school's research and scholarship go hand-in-hand with the
clinical education offered in the Stanford Teacher Education Program
(STEP), which is specially designed to prepare teachers to serve in
the nation's most challenging classrooms. STEP graduates receive both
master's degrees and teacher certification. [See
"The goal is more than graduating excellent teachers," said
Rachel Lotan, professor of education and director of STEP Secondary.
"We seek to revitalize the profession and the field by preparing
educational leaders for tomorrow's schools." [See
STEP has been widely cited as a national model for producing teacher
leaders whose grounding in education research and policy positions
them to promote change in the educational system over the course of
lifelong careers as educators. Nearly 80 percent of STEP graduates
remain in teaching five years after graduating, as compared with the
national average of approximately 50 percent.
While many of the nation's teacher-preparation programs are focused on
certifying teachers and are devoted to undergraduates, Stanford is
among a smaller subset of schools that offer advanced degrees and are
major research centers. "By changing the name, we want to
accentuate how the Stanford Graduate School of Education is
distinctive," said Steele.
PHOTO SIDEBAR: L.A. Cicero -- The
newly renamed Stanford Graduate School of Education.
Jonathan Rabinovitz is the director of communications at the Stanford
Graduate School of Education.
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244