The College Influence on Student Character: An Exploratory Study in Selected Colleges and Universities Made for the Committee for the Study of Character Development in Education

By Edward D. Eddy Jr.; Mary Louise Parkhurst et al. | Go to book overview

4. The Organization of the Curriculum

After taking all these courses, I really hope my education is going to add up to something. Right now it's a dab and a dribble. Many of my courses really make sense, and I get excited about them. But others--well, they just don't offer me anything but a few more credits toward the degree. That's the impression I have, I'm sorry to report.

Students and faculty must not consider themselves to be in opposite corners of an academic boxing ring. They must fight complacency together.

THE FIRST were the words of a student just returned from a class in economics, leaning back in his chair at the Student Union while he sipped a cup of coffee. To his remarks we have added the substance of an editorial in the Colorado Daily, the student newspaper at the University of Colorado. Whether over coffee or in print, both sentiments reflect what we found in talking with students and faculty wherever we traveled. In large and small degrees, every campus which we visited conveyed to us some unhappiness over the rigidity of the curriculum, the lasting impact of tradition upon it, and the unwillingness of some to examine realistically the depth of the effect upon the student in preference to the extent of coverage in a particular subject.

The comments of both students and faculty members led us to consider the place of the curricular organization in character development. We found our observations in this area to be the most difficult to assess and the most debatable. Because, however, we believe them to be among the most important in our study, we shall attempt to reflect what the majority of conversations and interviews revealed. Again we turn to a summary of major points of agreement among those with them we talked regarding the

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