Toward Improving Ph. D. Programs

By Ernest V. Hollis | Go to book overview

VII
Toward Improving Ph.D. Programs

WHAT CLUES, if any, for improving Ph.D. programs can be discovered from the facts and opinions presented in this report respecting conditions that now govern award of the degree? Answers will vary with the frame of reference used. Any objective study of the opinions expressed in the three preceding chapters will make evident the great variety of underlying assumptions held. Moreover, such an examination will show that individual experience, purpose, predilection, and bias entered perhaps more largely than philosophical hypothesis into the determination of an individual's judgments. It is therefore to be expected that the suggestions with which this study concludes are likewise colored. The introduction attempted to put before the reader the leading conceptions for which this volume stands. Briefly, it declared the advanced graduate school is here considered to be an undifferentiated professional school that should continuously adapt its program to the social uses which prospective doctors of philosophy can make of the information and insight gained in the course of their study. It contended that the best way to improve the preparation of college teachers or any other occupational group, during the period of graduate work, lies in introducing procedures calculated to strengthen the graduate school's capacity to operate as an integrated whole rather than as a congeries of more or less autonomous departments and divisions.

On the basis of these guiding concepts, proposals will be made for providing a large and integrated core of common fundamental study for all candidates in a major field such as English,

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