Publication Date

4-1991

Major

College of Social Studies

Language

English

Abstract

Using these categories, distinct chapters separate the history of the CSS into three periods. Chapter One sets the stage for tile inception of the College. Victor Butterfield is the key personality transforming the university in this period. Largely as a result of his efforts, the CSS came into existence as an experimental educational program. In some ways, the success or failure of the CSS had the potential to shape the face of Wesleyan at that time. The second chapter mainly serves to clarify the reader's understanding of the distinctive pedagogy of the CSS. Chapter Three marks the first nine years, and then Chapter Four records the next fourteen years. Separating these two chapters is the year 1968. This year is not a mystical turning point in history, but it appears that a number of important developments coincided with this date. First, it was in 1968 that the Wesleyan faculty voted to abolish virtually all curriculum requirements. Though this event is not overtly stressed in the beginning of my thesis, the significant ramifications of the decision should be clear toward the end. Second, this year also marked the first time that student initiative in the CSS played a significant role in shaping College policy. In 1991, we are so (over)saturated with students' cries "to be heard" that it is difficult to envision student involvement in university affairs as a dramatic event. The fact is that it was a big deal back then. Which brings me to my third point: 1968 was the beginning of what Secretary of the University William Kerr termed "the dark years" of Wesleyan. Social and fiscal turmoil combined to generate a mood of disappointment arid frustration amongst the entire university community. 1968 was indeed an important year in the history of the CSS as well as for Wesleyan as a whole. Chapter Five examines the CSS after the reforms of 1982, and additionally provides a wider perspective on the changes discussed in previous chapters.

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