Each year it has been the policy of the Crimson to indulge in an investigation of some major aspect of Harvard University, and from the facts to put forward constructive criticism. In making a study of the Freshman class, we have tried to understand, from the student point of view, not only the relations between the Freshman program and the other parts of Harvard's system, but also the relation between the University's general policy and modern education.
Harvard men are made in the Freshman year; boys of the year before are then regarded as men and started along a definite path of training from which there can be no turning back. Both the administration and goal of this training should be continually open to student consideration, for he is to be either the beneficiary or the loser.
At present Harvard favors individual instruction over the German lecture system; it favors specific instruction over the Chicago survey system. It is the belief of progressive educator's that the goal of college is to help the student formulate a purpose and to keep him aware of how to reach it. Fingering these two ideas, the undergraduate can ask pertinently if Harvard's theory fits that goal. And specifically he should ask whether the admissions, advisory, and tutorial systems, which are all related by a thread of continuity, carry out the theory. Perhaps the answers to these questions lie in the statement in President Conant's report for 1937 that "the immediate task before us is the intensification of our effort. . . ."
It will be the purpose of the six subsequent editorials to discuss the mentioned systems in detail, and to emphasize in particular the hitherto neglected need for cooperation among officials, teachers, and students of the University.