The CRIMSON is just as bored as everyone else with the apparent triteness of discussions involving teaching and scholarship. Yet a search for different words, under which to disguise this controversy, is just as difficult as locating Whistler's father. In considering this problem as it arises in the Freshman year, one is forced to use these words not once but a dozen times.
By advocating the removal of well-prepared men to advanced courses, the Freshman Committee leaves the field free to make introductory courses, introductory courses. The purpose of such courses for the inexperienced student is to offer an interesting panorama of the fundamentals of the field in which he may later want to concentrate. This requires lecturers and section men who are primarily teachers and only secondly scholars.
History 1 with Professor Merriman and English 28 with Professor Munn are the outstanding Freshman courses which demonstrate the truth of this. Although Mr. Merriman is an authority on Spain and Mr. Munn on English literature, they have developed excellent courses largely through their teaching ability.
Their lectures neither stray away from nor duplicate the assigned reading. They "complement, explain, and discuss" it, surely a broad enough field for any professor. By outlining the fundamental principles which their classes should keep in mind, they are able to show what hearing the reading has on the work. In addition, they bring the enthusiasm and ability to their lectures which is capable of stirring interest to learn the truth of important platitudes. The replies to the Questionnaire show clear evidence that the Freshmen consider these courses the most satisfactory.
Section men also have a very important role. When the uninitiated wander for the first time in the broad fields of government, English, sociology, etc., they are bound to become a little exhilarated and need the steady guidance of a section man who can present the subject in clear and interesting terms. Too often at present section men are chosen solely because they are Ph.D. candidates and need assistantships. This is placing the cart before the horse for the necessary teaching ability may be completely lacking.
Lecturing and teaching Freshmen should be regarded as an honor to be coveted not as an evil to be endured. There are comparatively many men who can unravel the intricate details of a field but there are only a few Briggs and Shalers who can inspire students with the desire to learn those details.