The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.
§ 1. American Education Primarily Institutional
THE CONTRIBUTION of America to education is in the realm of practical ideas and institutional organization, not in that of philosophical theory or of literature. Even an adequate literary expression of the practical ideals which have dominated in varying form from decade to decade, or of the institutions which sprang therefrom, is rarely found. For the most part the literature has been ephemeral, serving the purposes of its own generation but carrying no great message to subsequent ones; or incidental, forming but a minor interpolated part of some other type of literature. Not until our own generation has there arisen a philosopher to give vitalizing expression to the dominanted progressive ideas of America, or scientists to apply in literary form their instruments and methods to the problems of education.