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Dean Rosovsky gave those of us not privy to the inner workings of the core curriculum task force a glimpse of its outlines in a speech last Saturday to the Harvard College Fund class agents.
All summer, Rosovsky's appointed committee examined various courses in each of the five areas under consideration for the core, but Rosovsky's speech marked the first time their ideas were aired publicly.
In the "Letters and Arts' section, courses may examine specific genres or contributions of great authors to specific issues; courses might include "The Form of the Novel," "The Experience of Poetry," and "The Tragic Hero."
Art and music courses would also fall in this section, with titles such as "The Painter's Eye," or "Forms of the Symphony."
History courses, Rosovsky told the fundraisers, will focus on the historical context of contemporary problems or on topics that illustrate "the complexity of events."
If the core proposal passes, Social Analysis courses will probably include "Principles of Economic," Equality and Inequality," and "Heredity and the Environment," Moral Philosophy courses will cover areas such as "Civil Rights and Constitutional Law," and "Theory and Practice of Democratic Government."
Science courses will be taught in lay terms, Rosovsky said, and will stress "scientific literacy." Some mathematical instruction may also be included in this part of the core.
Finally, courses on a range of cultural experiences in both Western and non-Western countries would be offered.
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