ERIC Number: ED168429
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr-9
Reference Count: 0
Student Societies: Nineteenth Century Establishment.
Saslaw, Rita S.
The role of student societies in higher education in the nineteenth century is reviewed. Among writings on the topic, a myth has been preserved that the student groups played a significant part in augmenting a fixed curriculum, were open forums for the discussion of controversial issues, and provided wider library holdings. Two Ohio colleges, Western Reserve College and Oberlin, are reviewed to illustrate the idea that the student societies did not fill the role of a center for social activism or improvement of the curriculum or library. It is concluded that the student groups were formed with literary and moral self-improvement as their stated and real goal. Social intercourse with fellow students was a by-product of these groups. The groups are judged a success, based on their fairly long history and their support from faculty. They were not a means to achieve social reform, nor were they anything but an integral part of the nineteenth century college and the nineteenth century establishment. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Oberlin College OH; Western Reserve College OH
Note: Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 9, 1979); Selected sections of the paper will appear in "Ohio History" in Spring 1979