In 1880-1910, the history of higher education in America experienced drastic changes that were necessary to move forward with the democratic way of thinking. This unit's reading demonstrates novel characteristics that were becoming a norm throughout higher education institutions across the nation. In 1892, the Committee of Ten began the conversation of what secondary education should entail throughout all of the institutions in the nation. The article "Importance of Post-Graduate Training," (Lane, 1926) highlights the importance of independent thinking as one learns a new subject.
Thelin's outline of the major characteristics in higher education around 1880-1910 was meant to aid in the preparation of a formal infrastructure in higher education in the United States. The overall theme within the new infrastructure is that of a clear description of the role of any person within the institution. Thelin promoted continuous research, more requirements to enter professional schools, and constant renovation of campus facilities, just to name a few major characteristics. For example, he expressed that the roles of the administrative staff, faculty personnel, and enrolled students should be structured in an equal yet hierarchal manner in order to create a progressive academic system (Thelin, 2011).
The primary purpose of the Committee of Ten was to implement a national influence that would standardize the curriculum of secondary schools (NEA, 1984). The shared idea among the committee was that the objective of secondary school was to equip all students with the skills to succeed in life, personally and with respect towards society, while at the same time preparing willing students to enter and succeed in college. The committee was asked to address the matter of whether or not to differentiate course material for students who planned on attending college. The committee had a more of a leveled point of view when they recommended that the terminal students be given the same program as those who were headed for college.