Overseers' Group Will Study Gen-Ed Program
The entire General Education program will come under review by an Overseers' committee this December, Dean Monro officially confirmed yesterday.
Attention focused on the program by the Overseers' visit could speed certain additions to the upper-level Gen-Ed courses and clarification of the relationship between the General Education and Advanced Standing programs.
The "tendency toward rapid concentration" fostered by Advanced Standing, and the opposing goals of the General Education Program "get in each other's way," Edward T. Wilcox, director of Advanced Standing, pointed out last night. He said this was the "oldest of the issues" confronting his office.
John H. Finley, Jr. '25, chairman of the Committee on General Education, listed the conflict among the topics he felt the Overseers would discuss during their two day stay.
Meeting Last Winter
In a joint meeting last winter, the Committees on Advanced Standing and General Education tentatively explored this problem. But three weeks later Dean Bundy left for Washington, and since then little has been done about the conflict.
Discussing the upper-level Gen-Ed program, Finley emphasized that the requirements had been left purposefully loose to allow undergraduates to take several related courses in a field of secondary interest, rather than forcing them to choose between relatively isolated survey courses, as at the lower level. Nevertheless, he said, the University should offer more of the 100-series General Education surveys.
A third topic Finley predicted the Overseers' would investigate is a change in the way the Natural Sciences courses are approaching their material. Originally, he said, these courses examined the development of a science historically. But since the Bruner Report, the trend has been to take up a science in the analytic manner of a standard introductory course.
The Overseers' Committee to visit Harvard College will be here Dec. 11 and 12, under the chairmanship of Albert L. Nickerson '32, who selected General Education as the topic last spring. They will talk with Finley, Paul H. Buck, who was Dean of the Faculty when the program was instituted, and with professors giving some of the big courses.