NOAH--Harold J. The community of Teachers College, Columbia University, mourns the passing of alumnus Harold J. Noah (Ph.D. '64), Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the College (1976-81), and a giant in the fields of comparative education and education economics. His monumentally influential 1969 book, Toward a Science of Comparative Education, coauthored with his frequent collaborator, Max Eckstein, helped to shift the field toward quantitative methodologies drawn from political science, economics and sociology, which could be used to explain and predict phenomena rather than simply describe them. Dr. Noah also pioneered the use of cross-national comparisons among multiple nations. He was instrumental in launching the field of international large-scale assessment, which now encompasses global evaluations such as Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). His ultimate goal was to develop generalizable theories that could be applied across cultures and nations. Yet perhaps most of all, Dr. Noah was a scholar, bent on the advancement of knowledge. His early work focused on education systems in the Soviet Union, facilitated by his fluency in Russian - a language he pursued because it enabled him to read Pushkin in the original. He served as president of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), and editor of the Comparative Education Review. That same love of knowledge led Dr. Noah to mentor generations of TC students. We extend our condolences to Dr. Noah's family. Those wishing to honor Dr. Noah's memory can contribute to the Professor Harold J. Noah Scholarship in Comparative & International Education by contacting Linda Colquhoun at 212 678-3679.
Published in New York Times on Jan. 11, 2019.