A leader in field of Educational Psychology, Edward L. Thorndike came to Teachers College in 1899 when he was only 25 years old and by the age of 30 he was already a full professor and head of the Department of Educational Psychology.
By 1940, Thorndike had authored 500 publications, some of which on animal and group intelligence testing.
Perhaps the most controversial professor in the history of Teachers College, William Heard Kilpatrick extended the work of John Dewey in his twenty-five years at TC.
He proposed purposeful learning by beginning with a problem that gains interest and seeks to reach a solution, defined as the "problem-project" method.
Known by the press as Columbia's "million dollar professor", Kilpatrick was said to have earned over a million dollars in revenue for the college based on the draws of students and scholars that followed him.
Now widely known as an innovative mind in early education, Patty Smith Hill first arrived at Teachers College in 1905, after studying with John Dewey at the University of Chicago and directing the Parental Experimental Kindergarten in Louisville, Kentucky.
Hill worked to liberate the philosophies of kindergarten and nursery school education.