Eckerd College - Logos Yearbook (St Petersburg, FL)

 - Class of 1970

Page 15 of 80


Eckerd College - Logos Yearbook (St Petersburg, FL) online yearbook collection, 1970 Edition, Page 15 of 80
Page 15 of 80

Eckerd College - Logos Yearbook (St Petersburg, FL) online yearbook collection, 1970 Edition, Page 14
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Eckerd College - Logos Yearbook (St Petersburg, FL) online yearbook collection, 1970 Edition, Page 16
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Page 15 text:

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Page 14 text:

With the demise of the language requirement, Core stands as the only all-college academic requirement. Moreover, as a result of Jefferson House even Core is not genuinely an all-college requirement. In this unique position the Core curriculum is likely to experience increasing demands for reform or abolition. In the past our Core planners have met criticism with token reforms cunningly packaged to appear radical or at least innovative. Probably the only Core innovations of the past five years of any significance were Core Science and "Area Studies." Various other tampering with the Core curriculum has occurred but this has mostly resulted in the facelifting of old programs. I believe that, in order for Core to a viable part of the FPC curriculum, all of the following untested assumptions of the Core program must be carefully considered: 1.That Core can be planned and taught without a fairly precise and meaningful statement of purpose. 2. That Core classes must be segregated by gradelevel. 3. That a small number of faculty must determine the reading material for a large number of students. 4. That books are chosen to fit discussion topics rather than the opposite. 5. That lectures are a valuable aspect of Core. The purpose of Core, I believe, should be to allow students to intensively study one area le.g. culture, Asia, Latin America-social problems, racism, environment-art, graphics, photography, etc.l for one semester only. All these subjects could be taught as regular courses, but as Core courses they would be designed for non-majors who don't have the time to pursue the subject further but who are definitely interested in being exposed to the study area. I question the paradox of formulating a "centraI theme" each semester then asking each discussion group to adhere to the theme and simultaneously have its own unique experience. In the past the central theme has seemed far too contrived. I therefore suggest its de-emphasis. A second purpose of Core which I would advocate is the acquisition of communication skills. It has been my experience that some students are graduated from FPC barely able to write coherently or speak articulately on a given theme, while others are bored by writing numerous papers for Core and sitting through lengthy discussions. I suggest the collection of all written work of each student in the Core office. This would allow professors who had never had a certain student in his classes before to determine what writing skills the student has developed and whether or not it would be worthwhile to continue to require writing exercises li.e. term papers, etc.l to improve his ability to communicate. It would also enable the professor to determine whether the student did "creative projects" as an exercise in creativity or as a dodge from a task which he was not competent to perform. As a concomitant of de-emphasizing "central themes" it would be valuable or perhaps even necessary to allow students of all four grade-levels to participate in all project groups. I see no reason for segregating Core by grade-levels or, especially, treating Seniors as a group which needs special arrangements for Core. There is one aspect of the "central theme" which may have some merit, viz. Core reading lists. Many educators land studentsl recognize the value of reading widely during the undergraduate years material which is not necessarily correlated with any course work. If Core is to continue requiring certain reading for all students, I suggest the formulation of a Core reading list of approximately 75100 books. This would not be the equivalent of a list of "great books" but, instead, would reflect our Core professors' opinion of what readings would be particularly valuable land hopefully interestingl to Core students. This list could be relatively easily formulated by collecting ballots from all Core professors and could be annually revised by the same method. With a reading list such as this, Core students could be required to read a certain number of books each semester or have completed a certain percentage of the list by the end of the Senior year. This would eliminate the somewhat capricious reading selections which a small number of planners is likely to make. There seems to be no evidence that it is valuable for all students to be reading the same book at the same time. Finally, I would like to raise the issue of Core presentations. Nlost members of the college community place a high value on films as a pedagogical tool. For this reason I think that the Core cinema series should be expanded. However, as to the other prominent mode of presentation, the lecture, a great deal of investigation should take place. Questions should be raised such as: Why give a lecture which reviews something already presented in Core readings? Why give a lecture simply because it is that time of the week and a lecture is on the schedule? Why present a lecture orally? Why not print copies of the lecture and distribute it, thus saving everyone's time and enabling the student to review the entire lecture rather than scanty notes? Core has been, at times, a valuable part of the FPC curriculum. With a greater willingness to question some of our basic assumptions Core can continue to be a valuable experience. Jay Gilbert

Page 16 text:

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