College of Arts and Sciences faculty discussed many facets of the General Requirement yesterday, as the sub-committee on the General Requirement continues to seek input from the school's faculty. Faculty members debated whether classes should be included in the General Requirement based on depth or breadth, as well as discussing the merits of instituting a core curriculum. Biology Department Undergraduate Chairperson Ingrid Waldron said that in-depth courses better introduce students to the way of thinking in a particular discipline than do broad survey courses. But Oriental Studies Professor Peter Gaeffke said his experience has shown that students need a survey course for background before they understand the more detailed material in higher level courses. Most faculty members said that under the current General Requirement, it would be impossible for the University to institute a core curriculum where students all share a common intellectual experience. "[The General Requirement] is so far from a core," Physics Professor Michael Cohen said. "Whatever else this General Requirement is for, it is not to give students a common experience." Rather, Cohen said, the goal of the General Requirement is to expose students to various bodies of knowledge. Members of the English department expressed frustration for almost 10 minutes that only certain English classes satisfy the Arts and Letters sector of the Requirement, like classes on Shakespeare, while others, like those on Milton, do not. "We've got a wonderful person to teach Milton," Undergraduate English Chairperson Alice Kelley said. "Great things are happening in that class, but it is not on the list." At the next forum, the faculty will discuss interdisciplinary courses, instructional strategies, computing, and the use of residences. The forum will be held on November 8 at 3 p.m. in Room 200 of College Hall.Comments powered by Disqus
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