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VASSAR GIRL FINDS NO HARVARD INDIFFERENCE

DUBS REPORT VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO PROGRESS

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Miss Anne Riggs, Vassar '27, has written the following article especially for the Crimson. Miss Riggs is chairman of the Student Curriculum Committee at Vassar and the following review was submitted to the President, H. N. MacCracken. It is notable that the undergraduate body at Vassar has always been more closely in touch with the administration of the college than has previously been the case at Harvard.

One of the most important functions of a student committee on education, it seems to me, is to increase faculty student cooperation. In spite of the fact that both groups are presumably working with a common aim, recognition of this is too often prevented by the attitude of 'pupil against teacher' which carries over from school. Students assume that professors exists in order to cram dull facts down their unwilling throats, and the faculty take that attitude for granted. When, however, a report appears like that of the Harvard Committee, it demonstrates the existence among students of real interest in education, and indicates the possibilities inherent in the cooperative spirit in which it was issued.

Laboratory Requirement Necessary

All the rest of the Report is based upon the need for greater appreciation by students of the human and philosophie aspects of education. Meeting this need is an essential part of educational progress, and I believe that the suggestions made in the Report are definite steps toward this end. A general science course, a survey of philosophy, and instructors in all courses who can give the students an idea of the general correlation of their subjects all these would indeed tend towards inculcating in students more wisdom and not necessarily less knowledge. More specifically, however, I would criticize the suggestion that all laboratory work be abolished in the general science course. Although objection to the average elementary laboratory course is well founded, it does not follow that all such work is valueless for the non-scientist. On the contrary. I believe that the student can only arrive at a real appreciation of the scientific method by actually doing experiments himself. In well-conducted laboratory work, students do not know definitely enough what the results will be to spoil the experiment as such, and experience in observation and manipulation is essential to a realization of scientific progress.

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