Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Earle, Samuel Chandler, 1870-1917
Samuel Chandler Earle (1870-1917), an English Professor teaching in the Engineering School, implemented a new approach, known as the "Tufts Method," for instructing his students. His redirection of teaching for technical students helped spread Tufts' reputation among similar institutions throughout the country.
Educated at Harvard University, Earle received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1894 and his Master of Arts in 1896.Although he intended to teach Anglo-Saxon, Old English and Romance Languages, Earle was assigned, instead, to teach English to engineering students when he joined the Tufts faculty.
Struggling to maintain the interests of his non-liberal arts students, Earle spent a number of years trying to convince the Tufts faculty to adopt a new system of teaching, which would encourage the engineering students to develop their thoughts and ideas by expressing them through writing.
After his ideas were accepted and instituted, writing, instead of literature, was emphasized in the Engineering School classes, making use of the textbook Earle authored, "The Theory and Practice of Technical Writing."Referring to his teaching approach as the "Tufts Method," Earle continued to promote technical writing and encourage its use by other schools despite his failing health in 1914.
Earle continued to work, writing for scientific magazines, corresponding with other colleges, authored at least one other textbook and was an active in the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education, until his death in July 1917, at age of forty-seven.
Earle House, located at 45 Sawyer Avenue, was built by Earle in 1907 and was occupied by his family until 1927.