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November 18, 1959 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-11-18

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Educators

Deny

Small

Classes

y I , .

Necessarily

les

By THOMAS HAYDEN
The centuries-old maxim that small classes are sacred to a uni-
versity was sharply challenged yesterday at the opening session of
the University Conference on Higher Education.
While citing several dangers in increasing the number of stu-
dents per classroom, three speakers agreed that teaching sometimes
can be effective in large as well as small groups.
"We can no longer afford to cling to the uncritical notion that
large classes are generally undesirable and synonymous with poor in-
struction," Alvin C. Eurich, vice-president of the Fond for the Ad-
vancement of Education, declared.
'Obsolete and Archaic' Method
"From every angle - from personal experience, psychological
analyses, and the evidence of the last half-century - we can only
conclude that limiting instruction to a fixed and small number of
students is obsoleteiand archaic," he said.
Eurich suggested a ''wide variety of student groupings," both
large and small, as most desirable in a curriculum.
"Class size per se has little or no effect on student achievement,
as measured by scores on objective examinations," Prof. Allan O.
Pfnister of the education school reported.
Educational Objectives Possible
Various educational objectives can be effectively achieved in
large classes as well as very small groups; he said.1
In general, however, "contact hours between the student and his

teacher may be slashed drastically without any reduction in student
achievement," Prof. Pfnister explained.
"It seems the student will always find ways of mastering con-
tent," regardless of classroom procedures, he continued.
Although larger classes promise some benefits, "there is a menace
of mediocrity rather than excellence in them," Sherrill Cleland, chair-
man of the departments of economics and business administration at
Kalamazoo College, suggested.
'Menace of Mediocrity'
"As class sizes increase," he speculated, "the teacher's research
will decline," and he'll -also spend less time either with his students
or with his family.
Term papers may next be dropped, Cleland predicted, since they
require too much time in correcting.
"Then the individual conferences between student and teacher
will be cut, and I submit that much important teaching has gone on
in these situations."
He continued, "Class discussion will decline, and with it, the
right of self-expression. Then outside reading and essay questions
will be dropped, leaving only the standard textbook and the lectures."
Sees Decline of Initiative
This could lead to mediocrity, conformity and standardization, ha
warned.
Cleland also described various benefits which larger classes would
bring, listing higher teacher's salaries, more productivity, and in-
creased opportunity for students to attend colleges.

"The framework is set. Larger classes seem to be a given fac
for state universities in the future," he said. He noted greater nu
bers of students applying for college and the shortage of qualif
teachers as reasons for the new need.
Size 'Beside the Point'
"Size is, after all, beside the point," Prof. Pfnister argued. "T:
actual number of students in a class may govern the way they int
act with the teacher and among themselves, but it won't govern t
learning process."
Eurich agreed that learning is "an individual matter with ea
student," which may be stimulated by a teacher, electronic tapes, te
vision, films or personal experience.
"The important considerations for a college are that it plan st
dent activities in relation to objectives. of specific courses; that
group students in ways that are most effective for the attainment
these goals, and that it appraise student achievement in terms
these objectives."
See 'No Rule of Thumb'
There appears to be "no fixed rule of thumb" to determine t
size of class which establishes optimum conditions for learnin
Eurich asserted.
"It's a foolish thing to condemn or praise class size now," Pr
Pfnister said. "The issues are far from settled and we're still movi
in the area of hypothesis.".
The conference, the thirteenth held at the University, will clo
today after morning sessions.

LARGE CLASSES-The opening session of the 13th annual Con-
ference :onHigher Education yesterday dealt with the effects of
class size on student learning. Vice-President Marvin Niehuss
presided over a three-man discussion of the problem.
f

STUDENT ASSOCIATION
ANALYZED"
See Page 4.

'4A

Seventieth Year of Editorial Freedom

47Iait1

CLOUDY, COLD
High-28
Low--8
Cold spell expected to continue
with only slightly less wind.

VOL. LXIX, No. 54

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1959

FIVE CENTS

SIX PA(

Yale, Harvard Leave
NDEA Loan Program

State
Fund,

Expenditures
to New Low

NEW HAVEN R) - Yale and
Harvard Universities teamed up
last night to withdraw from the
federal student loan program as a
protest over the loyalty affidavit
it requires.
The action by the two universi-
ties meant their relinquishing al-
most half a ' million. dollars in
funds available to them from the
federal government as loans to
needy students.
Yale President A. Whitney Gris-
wold said his university would
make no further commitments for
loans under the National Defense
Act of 1958 as long as the "nega-
tive affidavit" is required in addi-
tion to the oath of support for
the United States Constitution.
Affidavit 'Misguided'
Harvard President Nathan M.
Pusey, who said the university was
relinquishing $357,873 in federal
funds, described the "affidavit of
fdisbelief" as "misguided.''
A spokesman for the United
States Office of Education in
Washington said eight other
schools have officially withdrawn
from the: government program in,
protest to the loyalty oath. ,
He identified them as Grinnell
(Iowa), St. John's and Goucher
(Maryland), Antioch and Wilm-
ington (Ohio), Bennington (Ver-
mont), Reed (Oregon) and Sarah
Lawrence (New York),.
Oberlin College of Ohio has pub-
licly announced its withdrawal but
official notification has not yet
reached the Office of Education.
Three other schools declined to
enter the program because of the
loyalty oath.
They are Bryn Mawr, Haverford
Negroes Ask
Integration
LITTLEFIELD, Tex. (R,)-About
75 Negroes attending a special
meeting last night indicated they
didn't want a return to segregated
schools under any circumstances.
Last week the Rev. Walter Grif-
fin, a Negro leader, asked the

t....
y, ___

1i

and Swarthmore, all just outside
Philadelphia;
The faculty of Wesleyan Uni-
versity in Middletown, Conn., has
voted overwhelmingly its opposi-
tion to the affidavit requirements
of the loan program.
The spokesman, who declined to
be identified, said the Office of
Education had hoped that all these
schools would stay in the program
while working for an amendment
City Del"ays
Cash Query
A resolution to send a letter ask-
ing about Ann Arbor's financial
relationship with the state to Re-
publican State Sen. Lewis G.
Christman of Ann Arbor was
tabled by the City Council Monday
night.
Democratic Councilman A. Nel-
son Dingle offered the resolution
as a follow-up to a report given
the Council last week that the
state owes Ann Arbor almost $90,-
000.
Monof the amount is an in-
tangibles-tax installment of $75,-
462. This money has nothing to do
withsurban renewal.
The proposed resolution would
have a letter ask "that he (Christ-
man) determine what schedule of
payments due and prescribed funds
can be anticipated over the next
three years on the basis of the
current situation."
The letter was to have said
"that this council deems it most
vital that the Legislature adopt
without delay legal means of fi-
nancing the various activitiesr in
this community for which the
Legislature has in full or in part
accepted responsibility."-
Republican Councilman Henry
V. Aquinto's motion to table the
resolution for further study by the
Council passed over the negative
votes of the three Democratic
councilmen.

to the bill. Thus, he said, they
would have been able to help the
students while still registering
their protest.
A spokesman for Yale said the
university ha. been allocated
$210,000 since the act went into
effect, of which all but about
$50,000 has been received.
The spokesman said most of the
remaining $50,000 would go back
to the government.
Later, the spokesman added that
Griswold and Pusey had discussed
the matter as late as yesterday
morning in a telephone conversa-
tion.
Discussions
The two presidents had been
talking about the loan program
and the affidavit since last winter,
he said.
Yale's withdrawal was announced
in a letter from Griswold to Ar-
thur S. Flemming, secretary of
Health, Education and Welfare.
The announcement by Pusey from
the university in Cambridge, Mass.,
was addressed to United States
Commissioner of Education Law-
rence G. Derthick.
Griswold said the loyalty affi-
davit "is contrary to the classic
principles of our colleges and uni-
versities."
No Membership
The affidavit requires a student
applying for a loan to swear that
he does not believe in, belong to,
or support "any organization that
believes in or teaches the over-
throw of the United States govern-
ment by force or violence or by
the illegal or unconstitutional
methods."
Griswold said the affidavit "par-
takes of the nature of the op-
pressive religious and political test
oaths of history, which were used
as a means of exercising control
over the educational process by
church and state."
Harvard University also 'an-
nounced last night it was relin-
quishing $357,873 in federal funds
assigned for student loans in pro-
testing the "affidavit of disbelief."

FOR UNIFIED BUDGET:
Hopes Lie in Future
By PHILIP SHERMAN
Indications are that a unified budget for the state universities is
still quite a ways in the future.
The-budget is one of the major objectives of the Council of State
University and College Presidents, a group including all state sup-
ported higher education institutions.
University President Harlan Hatcher said that differences between
institutions in mission, tradition and procedure are keeping the move
to a unified budget an "evolutionary process down the road."
A unified budget would imply more than mere addition of the
requests of the member colleges and universities; that is already done,
- he observed Agreement would

NSA Report
To Be Heard
The first of a series of National
Student Association reports will
be given to Student Government
'Council at 7:30 p.m. tonight by
John Feldkamp, '81, president.
This week's report will tell about
the cross - regional convention
which was held here last weekend.
On the basis of these reports, the
Council will determine if it will
continue its membership in NSA.
A motion will be presented to
have the name Student Govern-
ment Council preface all Cinema
Guild notices. This will allow the
students on campus to know more
about the projects that SGC spon-
sors, Roger Seasonwein, '61, execu-
tive vice-president, said.
Nancy Adams, '60, administra-
tive vice-president, and Season-
wein will present their views in a
motion about the tax crisis.
Air flight back to the-Union will
be another topic of discussion.

have to be reached as to the func-
tion of each institution in the gen-
eral fabric of state higher educa-
tion, President Hatcher continued.
Problem Exists
The problem now is to what ex-
tent the needs of the separate in-
stitutions can be welded into a
single document.
The Council, at present, the
President commented, is attempt-
ing to learn the needs and aims of
each of the members. When this
has been accomplished, he added,
a step towards a unified budget
will have been taken.
Northern Michigan University
President Edgar L. Harden, Coun-
cil Chairman, said yesterday in
Lansing the first job of the coun-
cil's coordinator, yet to be named,
would be to present such a joint
budget, "instead of having all of
us down here all winter."
Done Individually
At present, individual univer-
sities make requests by November
each year; officials then testify
at great length before the Legis-
lature and confer with the ad-
ministration to justify their pro-
posals.
President Hatcher stressed that
such requests are at present solely
the responsibility of the respec-
tive university and college govern-
ing boards andadministrations.
Meeting Monday in Lansing, the
council discussed the role and
powers of the coordinator and con-
sidered candidates for the posi-
tion. A man will probably be
chosen within 60 days, he indi-
cated.
The Council will convene again
Dec. 14 at Eastern Michigan Uni-
versity.
'U' Donation
Helps Drive
Surpass Goral
An additional $3,000 received
frmthe niersity d+7 ~1r1~ivicnnf 44.

Daily--Stephanie Roumell
SEES WEAKNESS-President Douglas Knight of Lawrence Col-
lege warned yesterday that education is focusing too much on
appearances.
Speaker Says Colleges
Accept Society's Values
By STEPHANIE ROUMELL
"We in the universities, who like tothink we set some standards
for society, have instead accepted society's concept of outward appear-
ance as true excellence," President Douglas Knight of Lawrence
College said yesterday at the University's Conference of Higher Edu-
cation.
Higher education has weakened, he continued. Many colleges pay
too much attention to outward symbols of success and not enough
to individual standards of achievement.
"The concept of excellence has changed in the last 100 years,"
President Knight noted. "For true zeal to excell means ability to go

)ramn
Level.
New Release
Bypasses 'U';
PayrollMe
University Ofdicials
Express Confidence
In Meeting Schedules
Top state administrators today
released $31,600,000 in cash. for
schools, Thursday's state payroll,"
back payments to state suppliers
and other purposes, the Associated
Press reported today.
No allocation was made by the
board to major state universities,
including the University, which are
owed $6,500,000 for November op-
eration, and for the state's share
in direct relief payments.
However, Stata Treasurer San-
ford A. Brown last month prom-
ised as long as other state payrolls
were being met, so would the uni-
versities'.
In Ann Arbor, University ofi-
cials said payments were not
needed yet, as the University's two
pay schedules are not due until
Nov. 30 and Dec. 5.
They expressed confidence that
the University would receive its
payment in time.
Officials expect revenue sources
will provide the general fund with
$12-$14 million by the end of next
week.
Drains Treasury
The outflow of cash will drain
overall State Treasury balances
to a perilous low of between 5 and
10 million dollars, depending on
how fast payments are cleared
through banks.
The biggest items approved by
the State Administrative Board
was the Nov. 15 installment of 22
million dollars in primary school
interest fund monies.
Another $4,400,000 was released
for the bi-weekly payroll to 26,000
employes, $1,900,000 in payroll
withholding tax, $2,000,000 to state
suppliers and $1,300,000 to Wayne
county.
The funds for the state sup-
pliers will wipe out back bills
dating from Sept. 22. Left unpaid
will be another two million dollars
In supplier bills in the under $50-
000 class accumulated since Oct. 1.
Position Worsens
As the board met, the steady
worsening of Michigan's cash posi-
tion was dramatized by the con-
trast between cash available to the
state treasurer frdm all funds
today and available May 7 on the
state's historic payless payday.
On May 7, net cash charged to
the treasurer, after deduction of
outstanding warrants checks) and

COLD SNAP SETS INs
Yesterday Sets Record Low

school board for an elementary
school in the Negro district.
He said then the Negroes didn't
want a segregated school as such,
but felt the school was needed as
a focal point for youth recreation
and as a safety factor so small
children wouldn't have to cross
railroad tracks on the way to the
present integrated school.
Last night, however, he told the
meeting of Negro citizens he was
misled when asked to serve as a'
spokesman. He said Littlefield Ne-
groes were not necessarily behind
such a move.
At one point, Joe Johnson, chair-
man at the meeting, called for
those who wanted to continue
sending their children to the pres-
ent integrated school to stand up.
Nearly all stood.
When he asked how many

Students will probably continue
to dress in their heaviest coats,
wear gloves and cover their ears
for the next few days.
The weather bureau said yes-
terday that no relief is in sight
for the freezing student walking
or riding to and from class.
Temperatures for the next four
days are expected to average a
little over eight degrees below
normal for the period with the
normal varying between about 30
and 45 degrees.,
No snow was predicted until to-
morrow, and only flurries then,
but the wind will continue to whip
about the students' ears.

beyond oneself. But this concept
of excellence as growth has been
overlaid with a concept of excel-
lence as competition and the out-
ward signs of successful competi-
tion."
To Understand, Act
A democratic society implies a
responsibility to understand its'
world and act on its understand-
ing, he pointed out. And any fail-
ure to do so is to deny democracy.
"Democracy means individual
and collective use of equal rights
but the trend today is to delete
any signs of difference between
people."
A true democratic policy of edu-
cation cannot survive long under
conditions of uniformity, Knight
maintained.
Knight cited the problem as the
public's lack of understanding of
academic value and the conse-
quent need to establish a basis of
academic achievement which he
said to be a matter for "every
member of every faculty."
"We need to make the best idea

U.S. Senator
Sees, Future
WILMINGTON (1P)-Sen. John
F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said last
night the next President probably
will serve two terms.
"History indicates that the man
and party selected to govern our
national affairs in 1960 will, under
normal circumstances, be re-
elected in 1964," he said.
Kennedy, who is seeking the
Democratic nomination for Presi-
dent, also said in a prepared,
speech:
"If nuclear testing is not im-
mediately stopped, several nations
will possess atomic weapons by
1968. Every hour of every day ...
devastation will be literally only
minutes away . . . in terms of mili-
tary proximity and warning, we
will be closer to theSoviet Union

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