ERIC Number: ED202430
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Idea of the College in Western Postsecondary Education: A Study in Adaptation from an Historical and Comparative Perspective. France, Germany, England, and the United States.
Pfnister, Allan O.
The idea of the college as a residential and instructional entity preparing students for advanced study by establishing basic knowledge in the liberal arts has a long history in Europe and the United States. The German term "Bildung" describes this function well, with its suggestions of "knowledge, culture, the power of expression, character, manners, a rare balancing and maturing of qualities calculated to equip men to meet with dignity and competency the responsibilities of life." The institutional forms in which this function of education has been expressed, at least in its ideal form, in the earliest French, German, English, and American institutions have much in common: four years of study in a residential environment. But in each of these cultures, the forms have undergone radical adaptation. In France the college function moved out of the university and into secondary institutions. In Germany the college was first merged into the university and then separated into strong classical secondary schools, with the universities focusing on scientific development. In England much of the function remained in the university, with the arts disciplines at an advanced and specialized level. In the United States, the colleges have retained much of the traditional function, but much ambivalence and confusion have grown about this role in higher education, and the future of the independent, four-year, baccalaureate-granting college seems more problematic. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: England; France; United States; West Germany
Note: Paper presented at the Fourth Congress of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (Tokyo, Japan, July 7-10, 1980).