The Making of a Curricular Tradition

Donald N. Levine

in Powers of the Mind

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780226475530
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226475783 | DOI:
The Making of a Curricular Tradition

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University of Chicago founder William Rainey Harper became the first American university president to make research the primary concern of an academic institution. He also wanted to link the university research enterprise with an undergraduate program that suited its intellectual caliber. He used the University's authority to elevate academic standards in the Chicago metropolitan area and throughout the Midwest. When it appeared that Harper's University was not developing the exemplary college he envisioned, the faculty decided not to abandon it but instead “to develop it to a position of strength in its field comparable to that of graduate schools in their fields.” Over the years, efforts to mount such a program produced tumult and tribulation and left a legacy of great moment to all who care about liberal learning. This chapter explores that legacy by looking at its innovative curricular and pedagogical ideas and at institutional factors that engendered all that innovation.

Keywords: University of Chicago; university research; liberal learning; higher education; undergraduate program; William Rainey Harper

Chapter.  14676 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy and Theory of Education

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