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M.I.T. Students Plan Conferences To Discuss U.S. College Problems


A group of M.I.T. students plans to start a series of small conferences and workshops next year for representatives of men's and women's colleges throughout the United States to discuss educational reforms.

The conferences and workshops would center on such topics as evaluation of testing procedures, student faculty interchanges, grading systems, according to Steven Mazer '69, organizer of the project. Mazer also plans to include such controversial subjects as pass-fail, expansion of independent study, and practical hours in the discussions.

The purpose of the workshop format, Mazer said, is to try to discuss problems in depth, pinpoint areas of agreement and come up with specific recommendations for action. He pointed out that among the 30 or 40 colleges and universities which would be invited to attend the sessions there would be a tremendous variety of problems.

Mazer also said he hoped to be able to achieve a consensus among student leaders from different parts of the country on common proposals which they could forward to university authorities as a group.

Earlier plans for a four-day conference to be held next May in Boston on essentially the same subject were cancelled because it was feared that without prior consultation delegates would not be able to reach agreement on any meaningful proposals.

David Riesman, Henry Ford II Professor of Social Sciences, and Dr. Frank Duehay, Assistant Dean of the School of Education served on an advisory committee which helped Mazer and the M.I.T. group plan the conference. Also included on the advisory committee are Dr. Benson Snyder, Professor Gerald Zacarias, both of M.I.T., and Professor Martin Trow from the University of California.

These professors will continue to help the student group plan the smaller conferences and workshops, Mazer said.

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