FEd August 1995 Newsletter -Aug 95: letter from Harvey Kaplan
FORUM ON EDUCATION
Dear Stan Jones,
Re your Spring '95 editorial:
It is obvious that one must take students as one finds them. Otherwise
they will learn little or nothing. However this leaves unexplored the
(in my opinion) usually buried question concerning the need to not
dilute the college experience from what it was in the "good old days".
I do not believe that students are more or less capable now than before,
nor that the important factors concerning learning such as sinking
in time in each subject at each level of sophistication have been reduced
by modern educational technology.
One may then ask: At what time do we start the four years of traditional
college? When I entered City College of New York in 1941 I lacked background
in algebra and was required to take "College Algebra" without credit,
with the implication that I might need more than four years to get
a Bachelor's Degree. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that something
similar should be done today. What seems to be lacking is the realization
of the problem, and the will and money to face up to it.
It would probably take a conference to amplify the above and to define
the problem and possible solutions more carefully. Not taking that
trouble makes us resemble some well-known large birds.
Stan Jones responds