THE TUTORIAL SYSTEM
There is a certain satisfaction in doing a job well, which cannot be obtained by careless work. With the tutorial system organized as it is at present it is almost impossible to round out satisfactorily one's field of concentration, with the result that tutorial work is regarded as an unfortunate obstacle in the road to a degree, instead of a privilege to be made use of in completing one's education. This is mainly because no time is provided to do the large amount of extra work, the greatest burden of which comes in the Senior year, when the student should have the most freedom for independent study.
By reducing by one the number of courses required of students who pass the divisional examinations, the amount of time for tutorial work could be increased without incurring the difficulty of grading tutees which would be involved if one course credit were given. Such recognition of tutorial work would not only allow more opportunity for satisfactory study, but would also be a stimulus for more individual effort. The objection that such a decrease in the amount of regular class work might mean that some men would get through with too little study would be met if the number, length, and administration of conferences in the Senior year were made more uniform.
At present preparation for the divisional examinations is so scanty that the marking standard is necessarily too low in order that a fair number of candidates may be passed. This introduces into the examination an extra element of luck, which would be eliminated if the candidates were expected to be adequately prepared. With this method, the number of men who get by without having the minimum of knowledge which should be required would be less than it is now.
Lessening by one the number of courses required for a degree, should not, by any means, be the final stage in developing the plan. As the system becomes more firmly established, a differentiation between the better and mediocre students would be desirable. Under such a scheme, candidates for a degree with distinction would be required to do less class room work, and would have the privilege of a greater amount of independent study, with tutorial aid and advice. The dropping of one course, however, would be an immediate stop toward the successful administration of the tutorial system.