History Dept. Initiates New Tutorial Plan
Sophs Not Given Credit This Year
The History Department has accorded more weight to its sophomore tutorial this year, Giles Constable '50, head tutor in history said yesterday. The department will not, however, award a half-course credit for the tutorial.
Under the new plan, Constable said, the sophomores "will hopefuly show more initiative and interest than they have in the past."
Although there will definitely be no credit awarded for sophomore history tutorial on University Hall records, the tutorial will be weighed more carefully in the awarding of honors degrees in history. Under past arrangements, the department committee on degrees considered the grade on the sophomore exam as one small but important factor counting toward the degree. It was the only mark awarded to sophomores.
According to the new plan, a sophomore will receive both an "objective" grade--his mark on the essay--and a "subjective" grade--for his performance in tutorial discussion. The two marks will be treated equally by the degrees committee.
Constable hopes that the new arrangement will have certain beneficial "psychological" effects on the sophomores' performances in tutorial. A feeling in the department that sophomores were not exerting themselves provoked last year's consideration of a half-course credit for the rather intensive tutorial work.
The department rejected the plan, however, because they hesitated to destroy the "freer relationship" of a non-credit course, Constable said. Before going to the "extreme" of awarding credit, the department will experiment with the present relationship, where the tutorial has more weight in the department but "will retain its freedom as far as University Hall is concerned."
Counts Toward Prize
An extra incentive for the sophomores, Constable said, will be the linking of the sophomore essay with the William Scott Ferguson Prize for sophomores in history. In former years, the prize was awarded only on the basis of selected essays written during the course of the year's work.
In other respects, Constable said, the sophomore tutorial will be much the same as in the past. The reading list will center around "great works" in historiography; essays will be written on subjects concerned with these works.
The department hopes, however, to give the tutors more freedom in directing their tutees than before, Constable said. Under the new plan, the "subjective" grade, given by the tutor, will be a tool toward this end.