Lindenwood Then and Now: Education school to celebrate 100 years

Left: A Lindenwood student-teacher in the 1950s. Right: A lecture at Lindenwood in 2015.
Photos from the Mary E. Ambler Archives.
Graphic by Matt Hampton.

MATT HAMPTON | Sports Editor

Lindenwood’s School of Education will celebrate its centennial this Wednesday and Thursday.  

Guest speakers, podcasts, and a time capsule burial are among the events to commemorate the 100-year history of education courses at Lindenwood.  

The History

University Archivist Paul Huffman said when Lindenwood College started offering education certificates in 1918, there were fewer requirements for becoming a teacher, and it was one of the few careers women could enter.  

Student teaching at Lindenwood in the 1950s
Photo from the Mary E. Ambler Archives

“I guess it’s pretty much why [the program] was started; it was one of the avenues women could take if they wanted to do something other than being a housewife,” he said. 

During the 1920s, the Education Department kept growing, and the home economics program became accredited for graduates to teach vocational home economics in Missouri. 

Starting in 1959, education majors could gain practical experience at a nursery school on campus.  

Lindenwood students could first earn master’s degrees in education in the 1970s.  

A 1981 ad promoting evening education classes in the St. Charles Journal.
Image from the Mary E. Ambler Archives

In 1983, a full-day kindergarten was started on campus in addition to the full-day preschool for four-year-olds and the half-day program for 3- and 4-year-olds already in place.  However, the campus school was eliminated within a few years after this.  

Dr. Joe Bordeaux, a former dean for the education department, worked at Lindenwood from 1991 to 99.  He said when he started, the department was one of the larger ones at Lindenwood but had only about 1,000 students.  The program grew as enrollment increased under President Dennis Spellmann.  

Another change during the 1990s was the increasing amount of hands-on experience in the curriculum, Bordeaux said.  When he started, students learned from “pretty traditional lecture kinds of things,” but within years, education majors spent 90 hours in a working classroom in addition to student-teaching.  

Doctoral degrees in education were first offered in 2007 at Lindenwood.  

Today, the School of Education continues to offer students practical experience through LindenTeach. The program was started this semester and has students work as substitute teachers, some working in schools suffering from a shortage of qualified instructors.

The Centennial

With the theme “Honoring Our Legacy, Building Our Future,” this week’s centennial will feature events aimed at remembering the school’s past and preparing for the future of education.  

Wednesday, Dr. Jon Landis will come to campus to speak about trends to anticipate in educational technology.  Dr. Anthony Scheffler, who became education dean this year, said Landis works as Apple’s liaison with educational institutions.  Landis will give a talk titled “Mobility, Leadership, and Learning,” from 10:30 a.m. to noon, at the Lindenwood Theatre in the Scheidegger Center.  

“It’s not as much about what the technology is as it’s what do we see, what’s going on in the future, and how might we be prepared for that,” Scheffler said.  

At 1 p.m., Landis will take part in an open forum in Dunseth Auditorium in Harmon Hall. 

At 1:45, he will appear on the CapIt! podcast, which is hosted by two Lindenwood professors, Dr. Robyne Elder and Dr. Lynda Leavitt.  Scheffler said CapIt! is a casual, short conversation about the experiences of people who have made their way through the education system.  

In Dunseth at 3 p.m., there will be a panel discussion sponsored by the Office of Student Life & Diversity.

Dr. Brittany Neunuebel, who organized the celebration, said the panel will include Dr. Quincy Rose, dean of education at Harris-Stowe State University, and Dr. Art McCoy, superintendent of Jennings School District in north St. Louis County.  

What the centennial wall, which will be revealed Thursday, will look like.
Image courtesy of Matthew Kertzman

Neunuebel said the other panelists are Lindenwood professors Dr. Denise King, Dr. Mitch Nasser Jr., Dr. Sarah Patterson-Mills and Dr. Vanessa Vandergraaf.  

Festivities resume Thursday at 3:45 p.m. with a barbecue at the pavilion.  Neunuebel said alumni and current students, faculty, and staff can enjoy food and there will be crafts for children.  

To look forward to the next 100 years, a linden tree will be planted and a time capsule will be buried outside the pavilion between 4:55 and 5:20 p.m.  Neunuebel said children from the community will read essays about what the next 100 years will bring, and their essays will go into the time capsule.  

Afterwards, guests can take a tour of Roemer Hall, and see the “future-ready classroom” in room 217.  Scheffler said the room, the first of its kind on campus, will feature several screens teachers can control from a mobile device, and it contains two cameras to connect to other classrooms.  

“It’s not a ‘sit and lecture’ thing at all,” Scheffler said. 

Finally, the centennial wall will be unveiled in Roemer at 6:30 p.m.  Neunuebel said that with pictures and a video screen, it will showcase the past, present and future of the School of Education. 

Lindenwood, founded as the oldest women’s college west of the Mississippi, has had a rich and unique past.  This is the eighth article of Lindenwood Then and Now, a series about the school’s history. The previous installment, “Who is buried in Sibley Cemetery?,” listed the people who are laid to rest on campus, from students to faculty to pets. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lindenlink.com staff are always open to hear from our readers.  If you have any questions, comments, or story suggestions, continue the conversation on our social media or at lulmultimedia@gmail.com. 

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About Matt Hampton 105 Articles
Matt is our sports editor and a general assignment reporter. Outside of Lindenlink, Matt is the treasurer of the Advertisers Desiring Success and Public Relations Club. In his free time, he likes to read, watch Netflix, and hang out with his friends. Matt graduated from McCluer North High School in Florissant, Missouri, and he has interned with the St. Louis Press Club and competed in the National Student Advertising Competition.

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