President Bok gave innovative education at Harvard a boost Monday when he announced the awarding of grants to develop new methods of instruction and training of graduate students to more effectively teach undergraduates.
The grants will come from the President's Fund for Innovation created last May with the help of a donation of over $1 million from the Mellon and Norman Foundations.
Dean Dunlop and Bok presented arguments last Spring to the foundations for the need of such a fund.
The final plan for allocation of the funds moneys will be divided into the parts money for development of graduate students as teachers for courses telying on techniques of self-packed learning and for new House courses. Bok required each professor or department who wanted a grant to submit a proposal of his plan of instructions, and then he and Dunlop reviewed it.
Paul Bamberg, lecturer on Physics will experiment with self-paced learning in Physics 1 with the $5,000 grant awarded him by Bok. Bamberg plans to divide his classes into three sections. One will have no lectures - although tutors will be available to answer question--and will have self-paced examination. Another will weekly assignments and the third will combine aspects of the other two Bamberg will select each section by lot.
Bamberg will evaluate the extensive by giving a uniform final exam and by extensive questionnaires filled out by the students in all three groups. The Office of Tests will also evaluate the experiments to determine the success of this kind of teaching.
Several economics statistics and psychology professors have said they will try self-paced instruction in their classes.
The President's Fund has already allocated supplementary funds to various Houses that made acceptable course proposals to Dunlop last Spring. One new Ehot House course and six Currier House courses will be offered this semester.
Dwight Bolinger professor of Romance Languages and coordinator of language instruction, said yesterday that the new program was especially important for graduate students in languages whose specialities often he outside of the teaching of the basic language classes. Bolinger's department used its $2,500 grant for an orientation program of outside speakers and demonstration teaching.