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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

ECONOMICS A

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Economics A has recently adopted a modification of the system so successfully used in History One. It is now planned that sometime after Christmas all students receiving "A" grades will be formed into a separate section, leaving the others to continue their usual course of study.

There are certain obvious advantages in this procedure. The able student, unhindered by the mediocre, will be able to advance more rapidly in the course and will go more deeply into the subject under the guidance of a seasoned instructor. By the same token, the laggard will gain the benefit of greater personal attention and a more explicit study of the difficult problems. Moreover, there are usually Seniors who are taking the course in preparation for divisional. In the past, the less mature members have impeded the progress of the more advanced students and have often reduced the discussions to dull and unnecessary explanations. The present change allows greater scope for study and permits intimate contact with students of equal ability.

The danger of such a segregation lies in the fact that without these men, a class-room may be left devoid of initiative, either through diffidence or lack of knowledge. The problems of the course now are elucidated largely through class discussions. Without these "A" students the sections may become mere explanations and the instructor reduced from his role of arbiter to a sombre doctrinaire.

Despite this, the change is a distinct advance over the previous method, for it grants a reward for industry and creates an atmosphere of original thought.

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