Mixed faculty response yesterday greeted the Report of the Committee on Science in General Education. Opposition centered around the report's recommendations for more science instructors on the elementary level and greater intensity in lower level Nat Sci courses.
Secondary school is the place for much elementary science instruction, Howard Mumford Jones, professor of English, asserted. Better teaching and more skillful organization are the methods which are in order for colleges, he added. "It is high time colleges in this country grew up and took a more adult attitude toward improving instruction."
Benjamin Rowland, Jr., professor of Fine Arts, questioned the value of having a non-concentrator studying intensely some small segment of science. "This seems to defeat the whole purpose of a General Education course, he said.
"Such first hand experience with actual science is necessary for any educated person," Henry D. Aiken, professor of Philosophy, countered. Aiken supported the report's conclusion that General Education in the natural sciences must include detailed knowledge of some particular science.
Stouffer Praises Report
Another non-science Faculty member, Samuel A. Stouffer, professor of Sociology, concurred wholeheartedly with the report, terming it "a very sound and sensible job." He noted that a stronger program would increase the enticements of natural science as a career.
The whole problem of establishing Natural Science courses is the affair of those who must conduct them, Stephen Gilman, professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, maintained. "They are mature, sensible men who should be left alone to do what they think best."
J. Allen Hynek, visiting lecturer on General Education and head of Nat Sci 9, supported the report while responding to Jones' criticism of too many lower level teachers. Hynek fully agreed that the emphasis upon secondary preparation ought to be increased. However, he maintained that "not even as great a university as Harvard should forget that one of the prime obligations of a university is to teach."