Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that led to the incorporation of English as an organized discipline at the College of William and Mary.;In order to assess reasons for the unprecedented consideration given the study of English in 1888, it was necessary to examine the English-related studies in the predominantly classical curriculum at William and Mary during the nineteenth century. An attempt was made to determine first why English was not recognized as a subject in the curriculum before the College was closed in 1881 and then why English was established as a discipline when the College was reopened in 1888. It was concluded that a systemized study of English did not develop at the College of William and Mary before 1888 because the study of English as a distinct and separate language was perceived neither as a necessary part of the traditional curriculum nor as a curricular offering which would improve the financial health of the institution.;It was hypothesized that a professorship of English was established and a systemized study of English was inaugurated at the College of William and Mary in 1888 because the Commonwealth of Virginia appropriated funds for a program of teacher education at the College.;The data support the hypothesis that English became an organized field of study in 1888 primarily because the College developed a program of teacher education, which required a study of the English language, in order to secure financial support from the Commonwealth of Virginia.;Further study is needed to examine: (1) whether English remained primarily a servant to practical studies, (2) the role and emphasis on English in current programs of teacher education, and (3) the pattern of development and relative emphasis on English-related studies in the twentieth-century curricula of American colleges.



© The Author