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Seventy-Five years ago, the University of Michigan appointed William H. Payne as professor of the art and science of teaching. He was the first person to hold a professorship in education in an American university, and from his appointment has grown the University's present School of Education.

Michigan led the way in several other important educational measures. Its  School of Education began quite early to visit, inspect, and accredit Michigan  high schools, which in turn made it possible for the University to abolish entrance examinations and admit graduates from accredited high schools. This system is now followed by nearly all colleges and universities.

President James B. Angell was responsible for Professor Payne's appointment,  for almost immediately after coming to Michigan, he recommended that "some  instruction in Pedagogics" be given. Like wise, it was President Angell who in 1874  established a teacher-training diploma, a  "certificate of qualification for teaching."  This, too, has become an accepted part of the pattern of teacher education throughout the country, with the various states setting the qualifications for individual certification as teachers.

Today, the School of Education has over 100 faculty members offering about  150 different courses. Two experimental schools, one at the elementary level and the other a high school, are operated by the faculty, and University students observe and practice in them. So large has enrollment grown, however, that students of education are engaged in supervised, or practice, teaching in nearly all the schools of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw  County.

Graduate work is becoming increasingly important in the School of Education, particularly in view of the growing demand for teachers with both a general  education and professional preparation. The University now ranks second in the country in its graduate enrollment in education. Besides its curricula on campus, the School offers courses in the University Centers in five other Michigan cities,  and its faculty conduct field courses throughout the state.

In this 75th anniversary year of the School of Education, it is appropriate to  note that the University of Michigan continues its leadership in the field of preparing teachers and school administrators. The purposes of the School of Education today remain as they were stated by Professor Payne: "To fit University students for the higher positions in public school service, to promote the study of educational science, to teach the history of education and of educational systems and doctrines,to secure the teaching rights, prerogatives, and advantages of a profession, and to give a more perfect unity to our state educational system by bringing the secondary schools into closer  relations with the University."

The Michigan Alumnus

January 15, 1955, page 182

The University of Michigan

School of Education

Pioneer in Teacher Education

75th Anniversary