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A great rattling of dry bones: The emergence of national standards in the early 20th century

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Title:A great rattling of dry bones: The emergence of national standards in the early 20th century
Authors:Siskin, H. Jay
Date Issued:01 Jan 2009
Publisher:Heinle Cengage Learning
Citation:Siskin, H.J. (2009). A great rattling of dry bones: The emergence of national standards in the early 20th century. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 2-16. http://hdl.handle.net/102015/69666
Abstract:The founding of the MLA in 1883 signaled a victory for modern languages in their struggle to gain academic recognition. Greek and Latin were dealt yet another blow to their prestige when “modern language men” persuasively argued that French and German had the same virtues that the classicists had arrogated to themselves, namely a rich literature, efficacy in mental discipline, and an aid
to mastering other disciplines. Indeed, the modern languages could go one step further, claiming their practical value in contemporary society. At the same time, waves of immigration were bringing about increased growth in high school enrollments and a more diverse student body, causing concern among many educators. At the 1891 meeting of the National Council of Education in Toronto, the chair of the Committee on Secondary Education, James H. Baker, complained that “the present condition of affairs [as regards high school curricula] is chaotic and that it may be improved in many respects” (Baker, cited in “Report of the committee of 10” School Journal, 1895, p. 718).
Such was the historical moment that motivated a series of reports evaluating
the place of modern languages in the curriculum, the best ways to teach them, and above all, standards of achievement for entrance into college. In this chapter, I will examine two of these reports—the Report of the Committee of Ten and the
Report of the Committee of Twelve—as well as the formation of the College Board. I will emphasize their importance for standard setting, articulation, and assessment in the context of the educational culture of the times.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/69666
Volume:2009
Appears in Collections: 2009 PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF THE STANDARDS IN COLLEGE FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDUCATION


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