The University of Michigan School of Education was founded in 1921 but the seeds for the institution were planted decades earlier. The school’s unique and historic relationship to public education can be traced to the first charter of the University of Michigan approved by the territorial government in 1817. The charter initially gave the university control over the state’s entire system of public instruction. Although this arrangement was later changed, the links between the university and the state’s schools were firmly established and they have remained strong through the years.
In 1879, the Regents of the university created the Chair of the Science and the Art of Teaching, the first permanent professorial chair in any American college or university devoted exclusively to the preparation of teachers. This regental act recognized the fact that many university students would become teachers and school administrators and that, without instruction in education, they would not be prepared for their work.
Today, the primary purposes of the School of Education are to advance educational knowledge and to improve educational practice. Faculty members and students remain in the forefront of educational change through their research contributions, instructional activities, collaborative involvement with the education profession, and other service. School of Education faculty members believe that the educational development of all people is critically important for the growth of a free, just, and productive society.