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ERIC Number: ED312940
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Influences of the Chautauqua Movement on American Higher Education.
Nanson, Susan K.
The Chautauqua movement is described with a focus on its influences on American higher education. As the most influential wholly American institution in the social and cultural life of rural communities, its contributions to higher education included development of correspondence and extension courses and the creation of the summer term. Chautauqua's origins were in a meeting at Lake Chautauqua (New York) in 1874 in which interested parties decided to create a vigorous private movement in popular education. The first Chautauqua lasted 2 weeks, with programs divided into 6 sections including sample Sunday School meetings and practical exhibits. Instructional courses were supplemented by inspirational lectures, concerts, and games. Emphasis was on self-improvement via Bible study and secular activities. The program grew in stages over the years. By 1898, Chautauqua relinquished the university title and abandoned its degree granting power. Within a short time, gatherings mimicking this model appeared around the country, and by 1900 there were 200 independent chautauquas. One influence on education which could easily be overlooked is related to the tent chautauquas whose mainstay was the inspirational lecture. The tent chautauqua circuit employed 6000 college students per summer for its tent crews. They earned money for tuition and served as role models for those in small towns, thereby increasing college enrollments. The circuit lasted for 50 years, and its decline was influenced by many factors (e.g., better roads and transportation, more newspapers and magazines, increased travel abroad, and the advent of radio, television, and movies). Contains six references. (SM)
Publication Type: Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A