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Question:Edit

How did the changing nature of knowledge in the mid-to-late nineteenth century affect educaitonal practices, both in higher education and in public schooling?

Jewett and Shapiro both emphasize the "civic" nature of science in the early 20th century.

Does science inevtiably lead to specialization os is that a product of social and cultural forces?

The nature of knowledge and its evolution is central to understanding the development of education. In particular to the historiography of higher education, the changing nature of knowledge is fundamental to understanding the rise of the modern university. Frederick Rudolph also notes the impact of Darwin on the structure of the university and echoes what Reuben would later argue. Darwinism was more about the conflict between piety and intellect, whether the university's authority will rest on received truth or scientific evidence. Scientific truth led to a movement that fragmented the curriculum, led to further specialization, and proliferated new deartments academic and journals. 


Julie Reuben argues that to understand the making of the modern university, one must grapple with how the nature of knowledge changed in the late 19th century. The Baconian picture of the scientist as a devoted gatherer and classifier of facts - science as a mirror of nature - reinforced natural and moral philosophy and 'the unity of knowledge.' Darwinistic science, which relied on imagined linkages (theories) and deductive reasoning, eroded faith in simple empiricism, ... and subsequently the "unity of knowledge."

Reuben, however, largely treats the development of science in a vacuum, separate from the political and social forces.

While Reuben sees morale education being marginalized as a result of the over-specializaiton of knowledge, Andrew Jewett turns to the larger social and political developments from 1930 to 1950 as a reasons for the development of value-neutral scientific inquiry, in which moral and ethical questions were pushed aside.