The Committee on Social Studies will require tutorial for credit for sophomore concentrators this year in order to give them a more thorough grounding the history and methods of the social sciences.
Social Studies 10, Introduction to Social Studies, was approved as a course offering last May by the Faculty Committee on Educational Policy, after a letter the CEP from Stanlay H. Hoffmann, associate professor of Government, and Chairman of the Social Studies committee.
Hoffmann cited the huge amount of work that sophomores in social Studies are expected to cover as the main reason for the innovation.
When interviewed last year, many sophomores in the field complained about a heavy reading or found fault with the organization of tutorial. There was also general agreement among the tutors that they cloud not cover all the material equately.
This year sophomore tutorial will be taught in one lecture and one 2-hour section each week. Lectures are expected to provide better organization of the material, and will serve as a starting point for section discussions. As in the past such tutorial group is made up of six students and two Faculty members.
The course will cover the history of the development of the social sciences, with particular emphasis on the 19th and early 20th centuries, and will include reading from Hobbes, Adam Smith, de Tocqueville, and Weber.
Both Hoffmann and Richard M. Hunt, head tutor, denied that giving sophomore tutorial for credit would force students to specialize too early in their careers. Hoffmann pointed out that the course cuts across a wide range of disciplines, and said it would serve as an introduction for Social Studies concentrators in much the same way that Gov 1 and Ec 1 do.
"It's the least specialied course I can imagine," he said. Hunt said it was "too early to tell" whether the new course would produce changes in the number and kind of applicants to the Social Students program.
Sophomores Study History, Methods
An honors field, Social Studies was established in the Spring of 1960 by Faculty vote. It uses an interdisciplinary method to study selected problems in the social sciences. Sophomores study history and methods of the social sciences; juniors move into one of the programs' three areas--International Relations, Industrial Societies, Developing Societies--for more specialized work.
Social Students accepts only 18 sophomores a year, and in the past has been deluged with applicants. According to Hunt, however, "the program has lost its sensational qualities, and is just another one of Harvard's minor quiet experiments."
According to an informal decision of the committee on General Education, Social Studies 10 will count as a lower level Soc Sci for the Purposes of fulfilling the General Education requirement. John H. Finley '25, chairman of the Committee, said that the question would be discussed on more detail at the Committee's Oct 9 meeting.