Title Reviewed:
A History of Indiana State Teachers College

Author Reviewed:
William 0. Lynch

[Author Unknown]


Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 298-299

Article Type:
Book Review

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A History of Indiana State Teachers College. By William 0. Lynch. (Terre Haute, Indiana, Indiana State Teachers College, c. 1946, pp. 438. $2.00.)

Only infrequently are author and subject so appropriately fitted as in this particular instance. The author attended Indiana State Teachers College as a student and later became a member of its faculty. After ten years of teaching he transferred to Ball State Teachers College and later became a member of the history department of Indiana University. After a lifetime of educational experience, he is now a professor emeritus, his evaluation of developments is seasoned and mature but not sharp. He wrote as a friend, but as a friend who could point out errors without offense.

The history of this institution is not long nor involved but the combined record of administrators, faculty, alumni, and students, with their relations to the community and the educational system of the state has many ramifications. The author has realized this and has included many details that often seem too minute, but the readers of the volume may think of these details as its most interesting part. Probably no one will complain that any essentials have been omitted.

The founding of the normal school in 1870 was a part of a statewide "Great Awakening" in education. After three difficult years the institution appeared to be firmly established. The first president, William A. Jones, placed much emphasis upon training the mind and upon the factual basis of knowledge. It was fortunate that the foundations were soundly laid, but President Jones made such an impression upon the institution in its formative years that future adaptations to changing conditions were adopted slowly and with difficulty. The employment of former students as teachers helped to maintain the original policy into the present century Often these former students lacked advanced degrees, and, as late as 1928, pressure from the North Central Association of Colleges was exerted to secure faculty members with more advanced graduate training.

A college course leading to the bachelor's degree was founded in 1907 and entering students were required to be high school graduates. All courses were placed upon a college plane in 1924 and a graduate school was founded three years later. The state legislature gave the Normal School the title "Indiana State Teachers College" in 1929 in recognition of this progress. Its standards have been recognized by the accrediting agencies as of collegiate rank.

The creation of the college course has created an interest somewhat different from the training of teachers and has tended to strengthen the arts and science courses. But this has been somewhat offset by emphasis upon athletics and other services which have public relations possibilities. Indiana State, however, has developed conservatively and has not adopted frills and fancies.

The present administration is to be congratulated for its wisdom in planning for this historical record of the institution's past and for its choice of author. The latter is to be commended for producing this useful account and for his sensible comments upon various phases of educational policy.

Published by theĀ Indiana University Department of History.