Skip to main content


eCommons@Cornell

eCommons@Cornell >
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences >
Education >
Education - Monographs, Research and Papers in Education >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1813/7983
Title: Preparing Students For Citizenship: The Pedagogical Vision of Yale's Noah Porter, Harvard's Charles Eliot and Princeton's Woodrow Wilson
Authors: Fernandez, Luke O.
Keywords: American Higher Education
Political Theory
Civic Republicanism
Civic Education
Citizenship
Issue Date: May-1997
Publisher: Cornell University
Abstract: The dissertation examines the historic role of elite higher education in preparing students for active participation in political life. It does this by examining the pedagogical visions and curricular commitments of Noah Porter (president of Yale from 1871 to 1886), Charles Eliot (president of Harvard from 1869 to 1909) and Woodrow Wilson (president of Princeton from 1902 to 1910). Educational historians have usually cast Eliot as the progressive force in American higher education while painting Porter and Wilson in diminished or even contrary roles. While this dissertation does not take issue with the basic thrust of this history, it focuses on deficiencies in all three of these educators' approaches that served to compromise their commitment to strong civic education. These educators compromised, or threatened to compromise, civic education because they ascribed to ideals and practices which are often at odds with the development of citizenship. The determination of these educators' civic commitments is circumscribed by the dissertation's exclusive focus on a republican definition of citizenship. Republicans equate citizenship with participation in political life and are consequently threatened by rhetorical and economic practices which appear to discourage political participation. The dissertation assesses how dedicated Porter, Eliot, and Wilson were to the ideals of republican citizenship by examining their commitment to forms of communication that foster political discussion, and by examining their attachment to economic practices that republican theorists have found inimical to citizenship. The rhetorical and economic proclivities of Porter, Eliot, and Wilson constitute the main approaches for gauging their civic commitments. However, these two approaches are framed and clarified by describing their sympathy for elite and exclusionary forms of higher education and by delineating their overt exhortations to service and their attempts to integrate their schools into a larger public sphere. All of their civic visions were ultimately compromised but they were compromised in different ways. Eliot's civic commitments were compromised by rhetorical and economic proclivities that were closely tied to his strong sympathies for professionalization . Porter's were threatened by an attraction to cloistered living and by archaic pedagogies. Of the three, Wilson displayed the most abiding civic commitments. But even Wilson's civic commitments were ultimately compromised by his attraction to elite forms of education.
Description: A Dissertation presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Cornell University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Luke O. Fernandez in May 1997.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1813/7983
Appears in Collections:Education - Monographs, Research and Papers in Education

Files in This Item:

File Description SizeFormat
94BIB.pdfBibliography Pages (221-244)130.62 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
93CHAPTER_SIX.pdfChapter Six: Conclusion Pages (206-220)88.43 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
92CHAPTER_FIVE.pdfChapter Five: Specialization (Pages 155-205)221.25 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
91CHAPTER_FOUR.pdfChapter Four: The Civic Impact of Rhetoric (Pages 88-154)275.78 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
8CHAPTER_THREE.pdfChapter Three: The Public Dimension of Citizenship (Pages 63-87)135.44 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
7CHAPTER_TWO.pdfChapter Two: The Troubled Heirs of a Tradition of Civic Education (Pages 28-62)164.73 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
6CHAPTER_ONE.pdfChapter One: Introduction (Pages 1-27)130.01 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
4THANKS.pdfAcknowledgments 16.71 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
3MYLIFE.pdfBiographical Sketch16.25 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
2ABSTRCT.pdfDissertation Abstract20.28 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
1TITLE.pdfDissertation Title15.16 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Refworks Export

Items in eCommons are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

 

© 2014 Cornell University Library Contact Us