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1988: Stretching the Curriculum at Stanford

May 08, 2016

50 Years of Covers

In November 2016, The Chronicle of Higher Education will mark its 50th anniversary. To lead up to the occasion, we’ve chosen front pages featuring some of our reporting on key events in higher education and capturing the zeitgeist of the nation’s colleges and universities over the years.

View the full collection.

A debate that has arisen on many campuses got an early hearing at Stanford University, which dropped its required reading list and replaced its traditional program in Western culture with one called “Cultures, Ideas, and Values.” The new curriculum required courses to give “substantial attention” to issues of race, gender, and class. Some professors objected, arguing that “you don’t fix what isn’t broken.” But an anthropologist who began teaching Augustine’s Confessions alongside Son of Old Man Hat, a Navajo biography, found that “both books got better.” Stanford has continued its curricular innovation, most recently in a pilot program that combines computer science and the humanities.