ERIC Number: ED422787
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
The Reduced Emphasis of Teaching Undergraduates: A Historical Perspective.
Ponton, Michael K.
This paper identifies and discusses salient historical events and trends that have led to the increased importance of scholarly faculty research and the concomitant decline in importance given to undergraduate teaching in many institutions of higher education in the United States. Following the English model, early colleges in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries emphasized religious orthodoxy for college faculty and undergraduate instruction. By the 1750s the sciences began to be included in the college curriculum and their influence increased throughout the nineteenth century. The increasing importance of graduate education abroad, usually in Germany, led to the pivotal founding of Johns Hopkins University, which led the nation in incorporating the German ideal that scholars should advance knowledge and practice intellectual creativity. Thus, the established practice of studying science was merged with a new emphasis on advancing science at the graduate level. A third major influence on the overall trend toward research and away from teaching was the advent of governmental support for research following World War II. The paper concludes that the real conflict is not between research and teaching but in the fact that research is more important than teaching to the professor's own career. (Contains 15 references.) (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A