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Mayor Edward J. Sullivan has suggested that a board of Cambridge school officials and College professors be formed to consider the possibilities of improvements in the science and mathematics departments of the city's high schools.
"The University has been 100 per cent cooperative with such plans in the past and I have every hope that something can be worked out along these lines in the near future," Sullivan said.
Professors contacted last night were unanimously in favor of such a measure, although several suggested that the function of the committee might be extended. Edward M. Purcell, professor of Physics, said that the suggestion "sounded like a good idea." He added that "it has long been apparent that something like this should be done in general--community action like this seems like a most constructive move."
Jerome S. Bruner, professor of Psychology, pointed out that a group of professors under the chairmanship of Jerrold Zacharias, professor of Physics at M.I.T., has made a study of the problems involved in presenting physics to students at the secondary level. These professors, from both the University and M.I.T., might provide an excellent basis for the beginning of such a committee, he noted.
Bruner Lauds Cooperation
Bruner stated that cooperation on educational matters by the whole Harvard-M.I.T.-Cambridge community is a much-needed thing. He said, however, that since scientists and everyone else "have to live in the world" a science-oriented improvement would not be the ideal solution. He advocated the consideration of curriculum in as many branches of study as possible and deplored "responding to individual Sputniks" rather than attacking the problem as a whole.
Fred L. Whipple, professor of Astronomy, agreed with Bruner on the advisability of extending the functions of such a committee beyond a purely scientific aspect and added that the move was "very important for the national welfare. We want to improve the general intellectual climate across the country, and this might be a good start," he said.
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