It was on July 1, 1918 when the five-year old School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts of the University of the Philippines was reorganized by the Board of Regents of the University into a College of Education. The School of Education was created during the presidency of Dr. Murray Bartlett, the first president of the University. In 1919, a four-year University High School was established as a laboratory for practice teaching.
The period between 1934 to the outbreak of war saw many changes in the College curriculum and other programs. The college closed at the outbreak of the war and re-opened on July 1, 1945.
Classes then were held in two rooms on a wing of the Philippine General Hospital. In 1947, courses leading to the degrees of Master of Arts in Education and Master of Education were offered and in January 1949, the College transferred to its present site in the Diliman campus.
Significant curricular changes and revisions were implemented in 1954. Foundation courses were strengthened, and off-campus teaching was given more emphasis.
From 1959 to 1966, the College had begun to be called the Graduate College of Education because of the markedly higher enrollment at the graduate level than at the undergraduate level.
The Department of Home Economics of the College became an Independent College in 1962.
Two years later, the Science Education Center was established in close collaboration with the Science Teaching Department of the College. Despite the socio-political upheaval of the Marcos regime, the College continued to stimulate educational innovations and movements that benefitted national development thrusts. The merging of the UP Elementary School, UP Preparatory School, and the UP High School with the UP Integrated School was one such initiative. This new school’s organization, content, methodology, and orientation of basic education were designed to meet the emerging needs of formal and non-formal instruction and differentiated staffing.
It was in the early 80’s when the College was designated as an Associated Center of the Asian Programme of Educational Innovations for Development (APEID). Furthermore, the College became the National Center for Drug Education, as well as the National Development Center (NADEC) attached to the ASEAN Network of Development Education Centers. When the College reached its 70th year in 1988, it had graduated almost 11,000 students.
From one undergraduate academic program in 1918, the Bachelor of Science in Education with four major areas (English, Economics, History, and Mathematics), the College currently offers four programs: Bachelor of Elementary Education (4 areas of concentration), Master of Arts in Education (22 major areas) and Doctor of Philosophy in Education (15 major areas). From nine courses offered 95 years ago, the college now offers over 200 courses each school year.
Through the years, several UP College of Education graduates have taken on choice positions at every level of public and private educational bureaucracy. Through the College of Education, the vision of the University of the Philippines to provide the country with the best training for teachers in the basic grades and with the most qualified leaders in the field has been realized and sustained.
Currently, the College is a Center of Training of the Department of Education and the Commission of Higher Education and a home base to several professional organizations. It also has expanded linkages with UNESCO, ASEAN, and other international organizations. The UP College of Education continues to fill the country’s need for qualified teachers and teacher-leaders as it remains at the forefront of teacher education.