Lincoln School at Columbia

  • Education
  • 1917

For three decades, the Lincoln School at Columbia University’s Teachers College was at the vanguard of experimental education. Teachers College was the country’s most influential center for teacher training, and the Lincoln School provided a laboratory for the development of curricula and educational practices that the college would later incorporate into its educational program. The school was established with money from John Rockefeller’s General Education Board and sustained by additional philanthropic donations. Rockefeller was sufficiently convinced of the efficacy of the Lincoln School to educate his sons there. The purpose of the school was “to construct a fundamental curriculum which will be representative of the important activities, interests, and possibilities of modern life.” Organized and led by some of the leading educational thinkers of the time, including former Harvard president Charles Eliot, the school was a potent institutionalization of new ideas in education. It operated independently until 1941, when it was combined with the Horace Mann School, another experimental facility with close ties to Teachers College, eventually closing in 1946.