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A degree of progress that is "obvious and highly encouraging" is noted by Dean Edsall of the Medical School in the movement for greater freedom and individuality for student effort in the Medical School. This movement, noted by Dean Edsall particularly in connection with the development of the advisory system, has been in operation three years.
Chief among the changes in the system of advisors in the Medical School as discussed by Dean Edsall in his recent report to the President is the establishment of a committee of the most skillful of the advisors who will see personally and at length each year, within a few days of the opening of the School, each entering student in order to learn at once as well as possible, his personality, interests, training and capacities, and assign him to an advisor likely to be especially desirable for him.
"This committee," declares Dean Edsall "will a so gather information especially useful to the advisors, will develop further methods of training them, will arrange for conferences of the whole group of the advisors from time to time for discussion of their problems and methods, and will as seems desirable, make recommendations, regarding changes in the personnel in order to reach ultimately the group best suited to this especial work.
"This system is in active operation with the open as of the new session and bids fair to be very valuable in accomplishing the purposes in view and gradually to infuse something of the tutorial influence throughout the student body. With the students that we receive from the College the whole effort is likely to be greatly furthered by the preparation in methods of thought and work that they will get from the recently appointed later in the College who will deal solely with students planning to study medicine.
Great Progress Noted
"But while much still remains to be done there has, in the three years since this movement for greater freedom and individuality of student effort was approved by the Faculty and went into operation, been a degree of progress that is obvious and highly encouraging. The student leaders during the year made inquiries amongs their fellows and presented an illuminating memorandum showing the general warm appreciation of the new freer schedule, the intelligence and industry of the general body of students in using their free time, the great increase in numbers who wish to carry on advanced voluntary work, and the general and marked increase in reading out side the routine.
"Probably no better evidence of an improved atmosphere in the School could be offered than the records of the library itself, which show that there was in 1922-23 a sudden increase of nearly 40 per cent in the number of books, periodicals and pamphlets drawn out from the library as compared with the previous years and the number in 1924-25 was over 97 per cent greater than in 1921-22 or any previous year. Not all of this is due to the new methods, but that the major part of it is, seems reasonably clear."
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