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Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. —Nelson Mandela

ELPA Events

Rags to Riches: How the American College Went from Pitiful in the 19th Century to Powerful in the 20th

Join David F. Labaree of Stanford University as he discusses the evolution of the American system of higher education.
Friday, September 01, 2017
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
220 Teacher Education Building

From the perspective of 19th century visitors to the US, the American system of higher education was a joke. Underfunded, underwhelming in its dedication to learning, dispersed to the hinterlands, and lacking a compelling social function, the system seemed destined for deserved obscurity. But by the second half of the 20th century, the system had assumed a dominant position in the world market in higher education. The question is how this happened. The answer is that the characteristics of the system that seemed liabilities in the 19th century became assets in the 20th century. Its modest public funding, dependence on the student and the market, and independence from church and state gave it a degree of autonomy that allowed the system to dominate the world.

Presented by David F. Labaree, Stanford University

Sponsored by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the School of Education

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