After the turn of the century, the University of Chicago was at the forefront of academic and pedagogical advancements, particularly in its sociology department. Sociology emerged as an academic discipline in a highly contentious period where it could have become part of economics or political science. Descended from thinkers like Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Émile Durkeim, the Chicago School of sociology featured a very different perspective than the dominant American pedagogy: it focused on the first-hand collection of data, looking at individual case studies, and emphasizing induction rather than deduction. The school’s dominance in the field would come to be displayed in 1925, when one third of all graduate students of sociology in America were enrolled at the University of Chicago. This type of experiential teaching would later come to be standardized by academics like John Dewey.1

Theodore Roosevelt breaks up the railroad monpoly


  1. Johnathan Turner, The Mixed Legacy of the School of Sociology (1988) ↩︎
  2. Thomas Fallace, John Dewey’s Influence on the Origins of the Social Studies: An Analysis of the Historiography and New Interpretation (2009) ↩︎
  3. Jane Addams, et al., Philanthropy and Social Progress: Seven Essays (1921) ↩︎
  4. Jeffrey Scheuer, New York’s Vanishing Visionary: The Quiet Mysteries of Charles B. Stover (2011) ↩︎
  5. Walter Rauschenbusch, Christianity & the Social Crisis (1907) ↩︎
  6. Martin Luther King, Jr., Strive Towards Freedom: The Montgomery Story (1958) ↩︎
  7. John F. Piper, Jr., The Formation of the Social Policy of the Federal Council of Churches (1969) ↩︎