Master Teacher and the Concept of Translatio Studii

Henry Dunster was a Master Teacher. For many years during his tenure as Harvard's first president, he taught the entire curriculum. Dunster is also one of the most significant figures in world history regarding the concept of translatio studii. Translatio studii is the concept of the transmission of learning from one 'world' to the next - as in the Old World of Europe to the New World in America. Harvard professor George Williams wrote about this with respect to the Puritan fathers of Harvard.* Among them, what better example could there be than Henry Dunster, who transmitted the best of learning from the Old World to the New? He was not alone in this effort, but, because of his design and implementation of the Harvard curriculum, he is one of the most important symbols of that process among a generation of giants.

* Bernard Bailyn, Glimpses of the Harvard Past (Harvard University Press, 1986), pp. 6-7.

Excerpted from A.J. Melnick's, America's Oldest Corporation and First CEO: Harvard and Henry Dunster (Infinity, 2008), Appendix F, p. 198.

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