Teachers College's President Susan Fuhrman in Chile

March 19, 2018

During the last four year, Chile has passed transformational legislation focusing on education, including gratuity for 60% of the country’s most vulnerable university students, changes in the selection process for public schools, and an integral Teaching Career Law. The latter covers the implementation of better selection criteria to enter teacher preparation programs, a process to strengthen these programs by measuring progress toward common standards, an improvements in labor conditions for practitioners, among many other measures to promote and improve the teaching career.

This new law, the challenges inherent to its implementation, including how to attract and retain more and better candidates to the teaching profession, and international experiences on the topic were analyzed in length during a program entitled “A Conversation on Educational Reform” featuring Teachers College’s President Susan H. Fuhrman and Verónica Cabezas (TC'10), a professor at Universidad Católica’s School of Education and member of the Columbia Global Centers | Santiago’s Advisory Board.

Fuhrman is the tenth President of Teachers College (TC), the oldest and largest graduate school of education in the United States ranked throughout the years as one of the topmost global academic institutions of its kind.  She is also the founding Director and Chair of the Management Committee of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), and former President of the National Academy of Education (2009–2013). Her research interests include state policy design, accountability, deregulation, and intergovernmental relationships.

The event, co-sponsored by Universidad Católica and the Center for Education Justice, was part of many activities held by President Fuhrman during her March visit to Chile, in the context of the “TC2U: Thanks a Million Tour”, which celebrates the last of her 12 years at TC. It was followed by a reception hosting TC alumni in Chile, which was attended, among many, by Erica Himmel, who obtained the National Award for Education in 2011, and Pilar Cox, the Vice-Dean at the Universidad Católica’s School of Education. 

During the conversation, Fuhrman addressed the challenging of implementing these major reforms and warned the biggest danger was to rush in doing that. She referred to the role of NGOs in the capacity building aspects of the reform and stressed the importance of teachers’ residency programs. She also referred to her role as leader, woman, policy maker and researcher.

You can read an interview to President Fuhrman published by LUN newspaper here.

Access the photo gallery here