THE TUTORIAL PROGRAM AT WILLIAMS

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 1999-2000 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 which specific attention may be called.

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 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 on the spot 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 will 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 a student begins her first tutorial course, she or he will have to spend somewhat more time preparing for it than she does for her 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 assigned tutor, or about The Tutorial Program as a whole from its director, Professor Chris Waters (Department of History).

Tutorials Offered 1999-2000

American Maritime Studies
AMS/ENGL 231T(F,S) Literature of the Sea
Bercaw Edwards (fall), Beegel (spring)

Anthropology and Sociology
ANSO 328T(F) Emotions and the Self
Just

Art
ARTS 341T(F) The Series in Art: Systematic Taxonomy, Narrative or Living with the Struggle
Hare
ARTS 364T(F) Artists' Books
Takenaga
ARTS 418T(S) Senior Tutorial
Levin

Astronomy
ASTR 412T(S) Solar Physics
Pasachoff

Biology
BIOL 402T/
ENVI 404T(S) Current Topics in Ecology
Art

Chemistry
CHEM 314T(F) A Theoretical Approach to Biological Phenomena
Peacock-López

Computer Science
CSCI 337T(S) Digital Design and Modern Architecture
Bailey

Economics
ECON 201T(F)/
ENVI 207T(F) Cities
R. Bolton

English
ENGL 325T(S) The Place of Place in English Poetry
Fix
ENGL 379T(F) The Personal Essay
Cleghorn

Geosciences
GEOS 255T(F) How Do Mountains Form?
Karabinos

History
HIST 370T(S) Western Political Thought in Transition
Oakley

Mathematics
MATH 416T(F) Diophantine Analysis
Burger

Music
MUS 203T(F), 204T(S) Composition
Suderburg (fall), D. Kechley (spring)
MUS 223T(F) Music Technology for Musicians
D. Kechley

Philosophy
PHIL 304T(S) Authenticity: From Rousseau to Poststructuralism
Sawicki

Physics
PHYS 405T(F) Electromagnetic Theory
Aalberts

Political Science
PSCI 343T(F) Multiculturalism in Comparative Context
MacDonald
PSCI 349T(S) Cuba and the United States
Mahon

Psychology
PSYC 314T(S) Left Brain, Right Brain-The Great Divide?
Zimmerberg

Religion
REL 270T(S) Father Abraham: The First Patriarch

Darrow

Spanish
RLSP 306T(S) Latino Writing: Literature by U.S. Hispanics
Bell-Villada

Theatre
THEA 213T(F) Paul Robeson: Visible Man
Bean
THEA 322T(S) Performance Criticism
Bean