ANALYSIS OF THE CURRICULUM OF THOMAS MORE COLLEGE: AN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE (NEW YORK)

JEAN MARY MURPHY, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify the place of Thomas More College within the traditions of American collegiate curricular history. Thomas More was a coordinate college for women within Fordham University, a Jesuit institution; the men's college was Fordham College.^ Based on an analysis of Thomas More's curriculum in 1964-65, in terms of the curricular traditions of certain "reference" institutions traced and identified in this study, Thomas More's first curriculum was neoclassical in organization and content. It was based on a prescribed organizational model, emphasized philosophy and theology and had few professional studies. There were no disciplines and only one program which could be identified as "women's," whereas, in 1964 "some" women's subjects were found in Barnard, another coordinate college, and in New Rochelle, another Catholic college for women. While prescription characterized the curricular organization of other liberal arts colleges in 1964, the minimal attention to the curricular traditions of women's colleges and the similarity between the curricula of Thomas More and Fordham College in 1964-65 meant that Thomas More followed the modified classical tradition that had characterized Fordham College at least since the late nineteenth century. As such, it placed Thomas More in 1964-65 within the Catholic-Jesuit-Fordham tradition.^ By 1973-74, the year before Thomas More and Fordham College merged, the neoclassical model had been modified by more modern curricular traditions and by some contemporary trends. The rise in women's studies that had occurred in other colleges, notably New Rochelle and Barnard, had not occurred in Thomas More. The lack of women's subjects/studies in Thomas More's curricula and the similarity in curricular developments between Thomas More and Fordham College between 1964-74 suggested the strength of Fordham's curricular traditions and the significance of a coordinate relationship in which classes were generally coeducational. Finally, while Thomas More's curriculum in 1973-74 reflected considerable movement away from the modified classical tradition evident in 1964 (which raises questions about "Catholic" curricular traditions during a period of rapid religious and educational change), nevertheless, in 1973-74 Thomas More occupied a conservative place within the modern traditions of American curricular history. ^

Subject Area

Education history

Recommended Citation

MURPHY, JEAN MARY, "ANALYSIS OF THE CURRICULUM OF THOMAS MORE COLLEGE: AN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE (NEW YORK)" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8423129.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8423129

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