For 25 years, from 1954 to1978, Teachers College was in Afghanistan, working under the United States foreign aid program, to help Afghans build a modern educational system. This is considered the largest Teachers International project that was ever done.
The Involvement of Teachers College in Afghanistan began with a determination by UNESCO that Afghanistan had a major need for teacher training. In 1954 Teachers College in cooperation with the Afghanistan Ministry of Education, began a program of teacher training for high schools. This was broadened in 1962 to include a program to develop a Faculty of Education at the Kabul University. By the late 1960s and 1970s, the focus had become development of new curricula, for all level of schools across Afghanistan. This program continued through several changes of government until 1978, shortly before the Russian invasion and civil war began.
Among the professors involved from Teachers College are notably, Dr. Freeman Butts, who oversaw the Afghan Project as Teachers College's director of International Studies from 1955 to 1975. He and his staff acted as consultants to Afghan educators who worked on expanding the number of schools throughout the country and increasing the number of trained educators. Also prominent in this area was Willard James Jacobson, Professor Emeritus of Natural Science at Teachers, who in the mid-1950s worked with the Royal Afghan Ministry of Education on science education.
Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a landlocked country that is located approximately in the center of Asia. It is variously designated as geographically located within Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. It has religious, ethno-linguistic, and geographic links with most of its neighboring states. It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast. Afghanistan also shares a small land border in the extreme northeast with the disputed Northern Areas of Jammu and Kashmir claimed by India but currently administered by Pakistan. The name Afghanistan means the "Land of Afghans."
Teachers College Afghanistan Education Project , early 21st century
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