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The Yale Report of 1828
Transcript of The Yale Report of 1828
The Yale Report of 1828: What is it & Why?
Content of the Yale Report
Document written by faculty of Yale College in staunch defense of the Classic Curriculum.
The report maintained that because of Yale's primary object of graduating
men, it should continue to require all of its students to follow a single curriculum.
''...to inquire into the expediency of so altering the regular course of instruction in this college,
as to leave out the said course of study of the dead languages, substituting other studies therefore
; and either requiring a competent knowledge of said languages, as a condition of admittance into the college, or providing instruction in the same, for such as shall choose to study them after admittance.''
Historical Context of the Yale Report
The rise of the Jacksonian democracy after Jeffersonian democracy
The Industrial Revolution
The increasing prestige of the universities of Germany
("The Yale Report", 1828)
March 4, 1829 – March 4, 1837
March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1809
Thomas Jefferson, one of the earliest advocates of a curriculum reform, “argued that America’s growing democracy needed an educated citizenry and that the growing market economy need a skilled workforce” (Kaufman, n.d., para 6).
Educate and inform the whole mass of the people...they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
Jeffersonians favored educated men
while the Jacksonians gave little weight to education.
A more diverse curriculum would allow young men the opportunity to learn new skills in order to become more employable by the expanding republic.
The dichotomy between the traditional classical education and the needs of a forming entrepreneurial society began to cause strife in the realm of higher education in the 1820s.
Because there was no governing force regulating course offerings, colleges began stressing the need for electives in order to prepare young men for the workforce.
Moving into the 19th century, the objective German universities evolved from teaching the ''regurgitation of knowledge'' to ''encourag[ing] productive thinking'' (Nivison, 2010).
The university teacher is thus
No centralized authority providing curriculum guidelines as in Europe
Wilhelm von Humboldt
A prescribed curriculum that is the ''discipline'' and ''furniture'' of the mind
Part I: ''Containing a summary view of the plan of education in the college''
(''The Yale Report'', 1828)
Part II: Defends the importance of the classical languages as part of the core curriculum for each student
(''The Yale Report'', 1828)
The 3 arts of language pertaining to the mind
Logic............art of thinking
Grammar......art of inventing and combining symbols
Rhetoric.......art of communication
The 4 arts of quantity pertaining to matter
Arithmetic......theory of number
Music..............application of the theory of number
Geometry........theory of space
Astronomy.....application of the theory of space
Many colleges did not heed the advice of the Yale Report, but instead opted for curriculum reform. Many faculty and leaders of colleges “echo[ed] the sentiments of the nation’s President John Quincy Adams—whose views mirrored those of Thomas Jefferson—arguing theirs was ‘emphatically an Age of Improvement,’ once which necessitated altering the structure of the college course” (Nivison, 2010).
Union College reformed curriculum by allowing ''parallel course''. Freshman studied the Classics but then choose programs in sciene, mathematics, social studies and law.
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute had curricular offerings of agriculture, architecture, natural sciences and engineering, and students participated in field training at actual job sites and engaged in laboratory experiments, concepts foreign to higher education prior to the Yale Report (Harada, 1994).
Hear, Hear! Let's supplement the classical curriculum with new electives to accomodate both tradition and the needs of expanding enterprise!
no longer a teacher and the student is
no longer a pupil. Instead the student conducts research on his own behalf and the professor supervises his research and
supports him in it.
Named one of the “most influential documents in American higher education,” the report epitomized everything that had been wrong with antebellum colleges”
(Pak, 2008, p. 31).
Yale Law School
The Sheffield Scientific School
Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Yale School of Fine Arts
Yale School of Music
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
In 1861, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences became the first U.S. institution to award the Ph.D
What then is the appropriate object of a college? Its object is to lay the foundation of a superior education: and this is to be done, at a period of life when a substitute must be provided for parental superintendence. The ground work of a thorough education, must be broad, and deep, and solid ("Yale Report", 1828).
The Yale Report:
What is it?
Why was it written?