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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Methods of Instruction

Elisha Mitchell, "Statistics, Facts, and Dates", 1850

The primary method of instruction was not lecture but recitation, which required students to study the textbooks and other material in order to recite answers when questioned by a professor. Antebellum educators did not consider independent thinking a proper goal for education. Science faculty occasionally performed experiments or demonstrations, but students were not responsible for laboratory work. All students took the same courses, and there were no electives.