II. Tutorial

As pointed out in the first of this series of editorials, Harvard is faced with a grave financial problem brought about by the large number of under-paid tutors and section men who all cannot be advanced into highly paid positions due to a lack of funds.

Further, there are many students who do not derive any benefit from their tutorial and only waste the time of their tutors. Such men are not interested in doing any research on their own outside of their courses and have no intellectual curiosity. They would do better to spend the time thus wasted on course work. That the number of these men is great is evidenced by comments from concentrators when meeting at the Crimson last month.

Another class of students, also numerous, much prefer to work by themselves and consider meetings with tutors as a drag. Such men are particularly common in the sciences, but are also found in the humanities.

The solution to these twin problems is a modification of the tutorial system. All men should be required to do tutorial work during the Sophomore year. At the end of this period, all honor men who desire tutorial should be picked out to continue during Junior and Senior year with their tutors just as at present. Such men should be designated distinctly and separated from the rest of the College. All others should be officially dropped from the tutorial system, assigned to an adviser, and most important, be required to take an extra course for a degree, or 16 in all.

The decision to be made in individual cases at the end of the Sophomore year, namely whether a man is to continue in tutorial or not, should be determined by the tutor after a conference. Particular attention should be paid to student's individual preference, his record in tutorial for the past year, and the tutor's personal opinion of his interest, curiosity and capacity.


If this modification is made, students will be educated more efficiently and much less expensively. The sluggard will be forced to do more work and will advance more rapidly if required to take an additional course. The man who wishes to study by himself will be freed from the burden of tutorial and will not be weighted down over much by the additional course. Finally, the man who keeps on with tutorial will find that his tutor can devote a greater degree of individual attention which will result in a more rapid advance.