More than 150 years ago, in 1852, the Indiana General Assembly took the initial step in the development of the School of Education by providing for the establishment at Indiana University of "a Normal Department for instruction in the theory and practice of teaching." Discontinued in 1870, the Normal Department was reinstated in 1886 as the Department of Pedagogy, later renamed the Department of Education. This department was part of what is now the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1908, following the enactment of a law that required formal training for public school teachers, the Department of Education became the School of Education. At that time, there were four faculty members and 189 students. In May 1923 the School of Education became autonomous from the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1925 the first B.S. in education was granted, in 1929 the first M.S., and in 1932 the first Ed.D. The Ph.D. with a major in education has been awarded through the University Graduate School since 1924.

In 1951 the School of Education moved into a three-story limestone building on the corner of Third Street and Jordan Avenue on the Bloomington campus. This building also housed the education laboratory school (grades K-12). The School of Education grew rapidly, and eventually the laboratory school was moved to a new facility at the corner of Tenth Street and the Highway 45-46 Bypass. In 1979 the education building was named the W. W. Wright Education Building in honor of Wendell W. Wright, the second dean of the School of Education (1946-1959) and a university vice president. Education classes have been taught in Indianapolis since 1914, when the Extension Division of Indiana University was established. As the Indianapolis campus grew and course offerings became more numerous, the Extension Division was renamed the Division of Regional Campuses. In 1969 it was possible to earn a bachelor's degree in education through what had become known as the Indianapolis campus of Indiana University. The following year the branch campuses of Indiana University and Purdue University at Indianapolis were unified in the establishment of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). At that time, the education program was located at the 38th Street campus.

In 1972 the IUPUI Division of Education was formally established, with faculty offices and classrooms in the Marrott Building on North Meridian Street. Three years later, in 1975, the Indianapolis and Bloomington units merged into a single School of Education. In 1982 the school at Indianapolis moved into a new building on the main IUPUI campus, the Education/Social Work Building, at 902 W. New York Street.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Indiana University School of Education grew to become one of the largest schools of education in the United States. It currently has approximately 110 full- time faculty members and an enrollment of over 1,000 graduate students enrolled in degree programs, including almost 500 in doctoral programs.

In 1992 the School of Education in Bloomington moved into a new W. W. Wright Education Building, at 201 N. Rose Avenue. This modern facility offers the latest in technological facilities for instruction, training, and research.

The School has a strong research focus with more than $12M per year in research expendi­tures through its seven research centers: The Center for Research and P-16 Collaboration, The Center for Adolescent and Family Studies, The Center for Evaluation and Education Policy,  The Center for Postsecondary Research, the Center for Research on Learning and Technology, The Center for Social Studies and International Education, and the Center for Human Growth. Faculty with externally funded projects work through one or more of these centers, which occupy space in several buildings near the Wright Education Building. The majority of research work takes place in Eigenmann Hall.

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