From 1931-1940, curriculum at Baylor University was adaptive. Responding to the needs of culture, the university environment, and student needs, curriculum expanded. Historically, Baylor University was influenced by the Great Depression and the spike in enrollment. These internal and external factors prompted a curricular response that was reflective of the time period.
In the papers that follow, the common theme is the adaptive nature of curriculum as it reflects the social context of the times and needs of the student population. Throughout the three historical narratives, curriculum is the forefront; however, each showcases the broader implications of curriculum in practice. What does balance look like for a student? What is wellness? What is the value of education?
In “Keep Going Ahead: The Case of Student Employment and Academic Success,” Camila Oppelt addresses the curriculum adaptations made to foster students’ academic achievements–more specifically the connection between students’ academic failure and the grant of employment subsidies.
In “‘Housing Healthy Minds in Healthy Bodies’: Promoting Wellness Through the Development of Baylor University’s Physical Education Program,” Sarah Caldwell follows the growth and development of the department of Physical Education at Baylor. Specifically, she addresses how the creation of the Rena Marrs McLean Physical Education building represented Baylor’s efforts to promote holistic wellness and address student needs at the time.
In “The Value and Significance of Teacher Certification: A Look at the Education Department of Baylor University 1931-1940,” Allison Everett contends that the value and significance of teacher certification was showcased by the education department. Through reflective and relevant course offerings, their honor society that recognized educational excellence, and a prolific faculty member who contributed vastly to her field, a teacher certification from the State of Texas and Baylor University was of great worth.
We posit that the ultimate goal of curriculum is to prepare students for the future. Curricular change does not occur because previous efforts failed, but instead, curriculum is a malleable, ever-changing entity that is an integral aspect of higher education and our goals for producing educated individuals. Focusing on academic achievement, Baylor’s continued curriculum adaptation and expansion of offerings from 1931-1940, moved beyond the past and provided a foundation for the future of curriculum and for the future of Baylor graduates.
(by Allison Everett)
(by Camila Oppelt)
(by Katy Flinn)
(by Sarah Caldwell)