Humboldt's Unity of Research and Teaching: Influence on the Philosophy and Development of U.S. Higher Education

13 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2006

Date Written: October 24, 2006

Abstract

The 19th century German model of higher education, with its emphasis on the unity of teaching and research and graduate education, was the model emulated by several of what were to become the most prestigious universities in the United States. The German model has its origins in the philosophy of the German Wilhelm von Humboldt. This university model played a significant role in the economic ascendance of Germany in the late 1800s and was a precursor to the development of corporate funded large-scale university research. This model of research, combined with the extreme level of faculty independence, also played a role in the rise of German militarism in the 20th century. Finally, the German university, based upon the Humboldtian model, illustrates the difficulty of attempting to both maintain elite research universities while allowing mass access. The influence on higher education in the United States and the lessons to be learned from the German university system are valid reasons for learning more about Wilhelm von Humboldt.

Keywords: Academic freedom, Captains of Erudition, German higher education, Goettinger Seven, Immanuel Kant, Johns Hopkins University, Max Weber, ROI, Thorstein Veblen, University of Chicago, Wilhelm von Humboldt, William Rainey Harper

JEL Classification: B15, I20

Suggested Citation

Albritton, Frank, Humboldt's Unity of Research and Teaching: Influence on the Philosophy and Development of U.S. Higher Education (October 24, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=939811 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.939811

Frank Albritton (Contact Author)

Seminole State College of Florida ( email )

100 Weldon BLVD
Sanford, FL 32773
United States

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