Reuben A. Brower, Master of Adams House, and John J. Finley Jr. '25, Master of Eliot House, stated yesterday that they are definitely in favor of offering courses for credit within their Houses. Five other Masters, however, expressed doubts about the feasibility of such a program.
Brower stressed that the departments would have to approve any courses offered for credit, but he saw no reason why such courses could not be given within the Houses. He added that noncredit House seminars, instituted as a substitute for junior and senior tutorial for non-honors students, were originally intended as the first step toward a program of House seminars for credit.
Part of Gen. Ed.
The Houses, Brower continued, should never be solely responsible for setting the standards for credit courses. Instead he suggested that the General Education Committee regulate the seminars which might then offer credit toward fulfillment of the upper level Gen. Ed. requirements.
Finley said that he felt the offering of credit courses could be a successful and worthwhile addition to the Houses. Such courses were successfully given in Eliot House during the thirties, but were discontinued shortly before the Second World War because the faculty was understaffed. The courses could be reinstated with good results, Finley pointed out, if enough faculty members were available to lead them.
Elliott Perkins '23, Master of Lowell House; Alwin A. Pappenheimer, Jr. '29, Master of Dunster House; Delmar Leighton '19, Master of Dudley House; David E. Owen, Master of Winthrop House; and Charles H. Taylor, Master of Kirkland House, however, seriously questioned the applicability of any plan for House credit courses.
Pappenheimer and Leighton agreed that the non-credit seminars now offered in their Houses are very successful. Yet, they doubted that the giving of credit seminars or courses would be compatible with the House system as presently organized.
Perkins not only opposed the idea of instituting credit courses in the Houses, but also questioned the value of Lowell House's non-credit seminars. "The House is complementary to the curriculum, but it is not supposed to be used as an instrument of instruction," he explained.
Owen felt that there is as yet no proof of a real need for a program of credit courses in the Houses.