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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

The Grad Student's Guide

A HANDBOOK FOR COLLEGE TEACHERS, edited by Bernice Brown Cronkhite, Harvard University Press, 261 pp., $3.

By Sedgwick W. Green

This book, edited by Radcliffe's Dean Cronkhite, is precisely what its title indicates. It is a manual telling the graduate student who is planning a career on a university or college faculty how he can best succeed.

Hence this Handbook consists largely of advice on how to get a teaching job, how to get an overseas follow ship, how to conduct a lecture, a section meeting, or a seminar.

It is a compilation of the lectures of 18 professor and university officials at an evening course given by the Radcliffe Graduate School this fall. One of its faults is that few of the lectures have been edited sufficiently to make a successful transfer from the oral to the written form.

Despite the technical and particularistic nature of this work, a few of the essays--or lectures--do have a larger significance. Of particular interest is the point of view maintained by Provost Buck and Radcliffe's President Jordan that far from being in conflict, teaching and research are necessary complements. As Buck puts it, "Research keeps a subject alive. It rejuvenates the researcher." And Jordan continues, "It may even be suggested that a college teacher must continue with his research and writing, though perhaps at a modest pace, if the wellsprings of his inspiration as a teacher are not to run dry."

Probably the most interesting piece in this collection is the opening chapter by University Professor I. A. Richards. Discussing the lecture process, Richards declares. "Say something which will make people think, and you have fulfilled your function."

Unfortunately for the general reader, that is about the last point at which this book primarily aims at provoking thought. From there on, it concerns itself only with providing specific information for the graduate student. Considering the illustrious and qualified list of contributors, it presumably does this job well

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