In the fall of 1988, Williams introduced a tutorial program. Students are invited to examine the tutorial offerings carefully in order to understand fully the substantive content of each tutorial and its mode of operation. A list of the tutorials to be offered in 2001-2002 is included in this section, and a complete description of each may be found in the relevant department's section of this catalog. No student is required to take a tutorial, but any student who has the appropriate qualifications is invited to do so.
While the details of the functioning of tutorials will vary in order to accommodate the diverse subject matter of the various departments of the College, there are important common characteristics to all tutorials.
Tutorials place a much greater weight on student participation than do regular courses or even small seminars. In general, each tutorial will consist of two students meeting with the tutor for one hour or 75 minutes each week. At each meeting one student will make a prepared presentation-read a prepared essay, work a set of problems, report on laboratory exercises, examine a work of art, etc.-and the other student and the tutor will question, probe, push the student who is presenting his or her work about various aspects of the presentation. The student then must respond on the spot to these probings and questions. A tutorial is directly concerned with teaching students about arguments, about arriving at and defending a position, and about responding quickly to suggestions and questions. This kind of exercise will help the student gain insight and understanding of what knowledge is and how it is accumulated, and how there can be different interpretations and different understandings of the same phenomenon. The student presentation drives the tutorial, and the presentation by the student obviously means that student preparation and response are crucial to an effective tutorial. The presentation is based on assigned and suggested reading and other work (laboratory, art work, theatre, etc.) by the tutor.
In some tutorials both students will make a shorter presentation each week and both will react and comment on the other's presentation. In all cases the tutorial is built around presentations by students.
In most instances there will be no more than 10 students in a tutorial. In the first and last week of the semester, the whole group may meet together, and in the 10 weeks in-between students will meet in pairs with their tutor. Students should therefore expect to make 5 presentations that occupy about an hour, or 10 that require one half hour. Assignments will be designed such that the student should, in general, be required to spend no more time over a week preparing for the tutorial than for a conventional course. It is likely, however, that as students begin their first tutorial course, they will have to spend somewhat more time preparing for it than for other courses. Once the routine becomes more established and familiar, the tutorial is expected to require about the same total time per week as does a regular course. The student should appreciate, however, that the weekly tutorials require exceptional regularity and on-time performance.
Grading, testing, and similar details will be described by the tutor at the first meeting of the entire group.
Drops and Adds: Because of the particular arrangements of the tutorial, it is necessary to limit adds to the first week of classes only. No adds can be made after that time. Spaces in tutorials are limited, and a late drop may unfairly deprive another student of an opportunity. Students are urged, therefore, to think very carefully about their initial decisions.
PLEASE NOTE: Tutorials cannot be taken on a pass/fail grading basis.
More Information: Students may obtain detailed information about a specific tutorial from the individual tutor, or about The Tutorial Program as a whole from its director, Professor Stephen Fix (Department of English).
Tutorials Offered 2001-2002
American Maritime Studies
AMS/ENGL 231T(F,S) Literature of the Sea
Bercaw Edwards (fall), Beegel (spring)
Anthropology and Sociology
ANTH 328T(S) (formerly ANSO 328) Emotions and the Self
ARTS 313T(S) Art of the Public
ARTS 315T(F) Collage
ARTS 364T(S) Artists' Books
ARTS 418T(S) Senior Tutorial
BIOL 402T(S)/ENVI 404T(S) Current Topics in Ecology
CHEM 314T(F) A Theoretical Approach to Biological Phenomena
CSCI 337T(S) Digital Design and Modern Architecture
ECON 240T(S) Colonialism and Underdevelopment in South Asia
ECON 357T(F) The Strange Economics of College
ECON 361T(S) Questioning the Philosophical and Psychological Foundations of Economics
ENGL 319T(S)/THEA 319T(S) Shakespeare in Love
ENGL 323T(S) A Novel Education
ENGL 383T(F) Tutorial in Memoir
GEOS 304T(S) Paleoecology
GEOS 404T(S) Geology of the Appalachians
HIST 480T(S) (formerly 370T) Western Political Thought in Transition
HIST 487T(F) (formerly 374T) The Second World War: Origins, Course, Outcomes, and Meaning
LING 212T(S) Language Acquisition and the Question of What's Innate
MATH 355T(S) Creative Problem Solving
MUS 203T(F), 204T(S) Composition
Perez Velazquez (fall), TBA (spring)
PHIL 250T(S) Conceptions of Human Nature
PHIL 360T(F) Aesthetics
PHYS 405T(F) Electromagnetic Theory
PSCI 349T(F) Cuba and the United States
PSYC 316T(S) Clinical Neuroscience+
PSYC 346T(S) Egocentrism and Social Judgment
REL/ANTH 308T(F) Imagining "Religion"