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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 9. June 25, 1947



Generally, proposals to meet the first need outlined above centre round some sort of "common-core" suggestion, i.e., that all students entering the university should be required for a year or two to follow some prescribed course of study which traverses the major fields of human knowledge, i.e., the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities. In an elementary way the recent changes in New Zealand secondary schools follow such a pattern. The defect with such a procedure, as I see it, is that as far as the University is concerned, such a wide coverage of subjects may lend itself to superficiality. Imagine, for example, the knowledge one would gain by taking all the Stage I options at Victoria; nothing but an inadequate idea of a whole series of subject matters would result Still worse, the orientation courses in the various fields would not be planned as a preparation for further study so much as surveys complete in themselves. Gross oversimplification may well result. (It is, however, a debatable point whether or not such simplified knowledge might possibly be better than the vacuum that exists at present.) In any case it seems that the saving factor would arrive when the student, having carried on past the "orientation" course into his specialization, in the light of this, could look back and revise his previous elementary sketches of knowledge.