Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Chautauqua movement that swept the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was one of the most innovative developments in the history of adult education. Following the philosophy of mainstream liberal arts colleges by offering workshops and lectures in the arts and humanities and eschewing mechanical, technical, and practical education, the movement brought liberal education, culture, and later entertainment to adults in small towns and rural communities. The Chautauqua movement also adapted the new fields of natural and social sciences and modern literature to its academic curriculum and experimented with radical programs that brought together the sacred and secular as a cultural response to a changing world in which science challenged religious authority, labor conflicted with management, women questioned their prescribed roles, and the nation grew progressively more heterogeneous. This entry looks at the history and impact of the movement. The movement began inauspiciously in 1874 ...