A report defending specialization at the graduate level has received complete endorsement from J. Peterson Elder, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
The report was written by Bernard Berelson, Director of Columbia University's Bureau of Applied Social Research. In a separate survey, Berelson placed Harvard's GSAS among the top twelve in the country. He released both the report and the rankings early this week.
Elder denied the claim that specialization and research lower the effectiveness of teacher-training. He said yesterday, as did Berelson in his report, that research is necessary not only to master a subject but also to teach it.
The University does not require "how-to-teach" courses as preparation for a teaching career, Elder pointed out. He cited teaching fellowships and graduate participation in seminars as examples of how candidates might gain experience.
Berelson said in the report that attempts to inject general education into doctoral studies has been a failure. He mentioned the University's institution and subsequent elimination of a Ph.D. program in Social Science as a prime example. Elder again supported this position. He said that the Social Science program "did not all any need" and that student interest was slight. He said the program was dropped after five years.
Eider also reacted favorably to a proposal by Berelson to speed up the doctoral process. He said, "Grad students are not Methuselahs, and they are not immortal. They should not be allowed to take eight or nine years to earn their degrees."
Other universities placed high on Berelson's list were California (Berkeley), California Institute of Technology, Chicago, Cornell, Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan, Princeton, Wisconsin, and Yale