ERIC Number: ED176657
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Prologue to the American System of Higher Education: Higher Learning in Western Culture. Occasional Paper Number Four.
Duryea, E. D.
In a discussion of the development of higher education in America, its European roots are traced to provide a historical perspective to some current issues. The paper examines the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment in relation to the influence that each of these historical periods had on the first colleges and universities in this country. The theological setting for education during the middle ages is examined. The shift to humanistic considerations during the Renaissance is noted as is the swing back to religious origins during the Reformation. The emergence in the eighteenth century (just as American colleges were being established) of a period of interest in the physical world and the work of scientists (i.e., the Enlightenment) is surveyed. Four contributions are identified as distinctive to the American system of higher education: (1) the proliferation of small liberal arts campuses, (2) a commitment to the idea of a college education in terms of a four-year baccalaureate program of studies, (3) the belief that Christian morality is a central responsibility of education and the doctrine of in loco parentis, and (4) autonomy combined with the basis for societal responsiveness. The importance of the Yale Report, the emergence of specialization (including scientific research) and the land grant college movement are discussed. A 100-item bibliography is included. (PHR)
Descriptors: Bibliographies, Christianity, Colleges, Cultural Influences, Educational History, Educational Theories, European History, Higher Education, History, Land Grant Universities, Religious Factors, Scientific Principles, Small Colleges, Universities, Western Civilization
State University of New York, Department of Higher Education, Buffalo, NY
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: State Univ. of New York, Buffalo. Dept. of Higher Education.