ERIC Number: ED471739
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
A Historical Review of Curriculum in American Higher Education: 1636-1900.
Denham, Thomas J.
The U.S. college curriculum has its origin in the medieval university of England. This classical education based on the seven liberal arts formed the basis for the early colonial colleges. From its earliest days, the curriculum was relevant in the preparation of students for the professions of the period. Over time, the curriculum evolved and adapted to the larger trends in U.S. society. Colleges, however, did not change the curriculum without intense debate or grave reservations. This paper traces the development of the U.S. higher education curriculum from the first nine colleges founded before the American revolution, through the age of empiricism and enlightenment, and the growth in colleges. The development of women's colleges, black colleges, and engineering schools is outlined. By the eve of the Civil War, there were 250 colleges in the United States and a great demand for utilitarian learning. In this era, the system of elective courses began to thrive. The Morrill Acts and the Land Grant College Acts continued the westward growth and development of U.S. higher education. By the end of the 19th century, the U.S. curriculum had evolved into a flexible and diverse system never anticipated by colonial colleges. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States