The historian Herbst (1965) posited that “scholarship . . . like most human endeavors, [is] given [its] distinguishing character by the specific time and place in which [it is] pursued” (p. vii). The distinguishing character of U.S. higher education at the turn of the nineteenth century was transition. Indeed, in the early 1800s, U.S. educators were struggling to determine the future of higher education in the United States, igniting discussions and disagreements concerning everything from the purpose of education, to curriculum and pedagogy, and to student life (Herbst, 1965). Yet, answers did not appear to be forthcoming from within the young nation’s colleges, encouraging a growing trend to seek answers abroad. Early academicians looked to German universities as models of ideal higher education institutions (Gore, 2005). To import ideas that would shape U.S. higher education, U.S. academicians sent young scholars to Germany. One of the first scholars to study abroad was George Ticknor. This paper examines Ticknor’s study-abroad observations and personal quest for knowledge, highlighting the elements of the philosophy of education, curriculum and pedagogy, and student life in nineteenth century German higher education. The author argues that early study-abroad students in Germany, such as George Ticknor, brought home profound observations which influenced the institutions of nineteenth century U.S. higher education.
"Accidental Agent of Change: George Ticknor's Study Abroad in 1815 Germany,"
The William & Mary Educational Review: Vol. 3
, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wm.edu/wmer/vol3/iss1/8