Article Title

The Course Curse


The course is the backbone of American higher education. Curricula built around sequences or selections of courses are almost universal in our colleges and universities. Attempts to move outside the course structure are still regarded as experimental or as exceptions to the rule, and their achievements are not generally understood unless translated into the language of course requirements. For example, when students demanded the opportunity for political involvement in the November campaigns, university officials obliged them-with a course. When college teachers think of educational reform they think of changing the content or the scheduling of courses, or at most the sequence of courses which makes up the curriculum. They do not question the course structure itself. Yet the tradition, the habit, the continuing presence of courses acts as a withering curse upon educational reforms of every kind.