Guide to the Exploratory Courses
RG 3.4.3

Summary Information

Repository
Sarah Lawrence College Archives
Creator
Sarah Lawrence College.
Title
Exploratory Courses
ID
RG 3.4.3
Date [inclusive]
1935-1956
Extent
1.5 linear feet 1 record carton, 1 document box
Language

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Sarah Lawrence College Archives August 2004

Sarah Lawrence College Archives
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, NY, 10708
914-395-2480
archives@sarahlawrence.edu

Revision Description

 Finding Aid entered in Archivists' Toolkit by Elijah Black. July 2012

Terms of Use

The collection is open to researchers without restriction.

Processing Information note

Processed August 2004 by Abby Lester.

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Historical note

In 1934, the General Education Board of the Rockefeller Foundation awarded Sarah Lawrence College a grant for two years to set up exploratory courses designed to assist first-year students “find out more effectively what educational experiences the college has to offer them and to help [the College] evaluate more accurately what this educational experience is doing for them.” (from President’s Report to the Board of Trustees, May 1935, p. 6) Exploratory courses were “designed primarily to help the student orient herself to college and to explore possible fields of interest.” (President’s Report to the Board of Trustees, May 1939, pp. 5-6) Furthermore, the exploratory courses used various materials and techniques to develop the potentials of first-year students. Final reports were prepared by various faculty involved to be used as a basis for curricular revision. Beginning in 1935, every first-year student entering the College participated in one of the exploratory groups, forming a third of her year’s program. The grant tapered off in 1941, after which numerous reports were presented on the findings. The faculty agreed, according to President Warren’s Report to the Board of Trustees in May 1939, that the exploratory courses be retained since they met many objectives. The exploratory courses quickly became part of the freshman curriculum, at first being called Exploratory Courses for Freshmen (until 1961/1962), later Freshmen Studies and currently First-Year Studies.

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Scope and Contents note

The records consist mostly of final reports on exploratory courses from 1935 to 1938. These reports, written by faculty teaching each course, contain student papers, detailed accounts of class meetings, evaluations of student performance, syllabi, and overall evaluations of the course. All students names are changed for privacy. The folder of general material on the exploratory courses contains basic information on the exploratory courses.

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Related Materials

See also

Syllabi for exploratory courses in syllabi collection. Numerous publications resulted from the grant as well, some of which can be found in the Book Collection of the Sarah Lawrence College Archives. Minutes of two meetings of the Teachers of Exploratory Courses may be found in the Assorted Committee Records. Minutes of the Research Committee Meetings from 1934-1935 on exploratory courses. A five page report on exploratory courses from May 29, 1939 appears in the bound Faculty Meeting Minutes, Volume 11, 1938-1939, page 300.

More information on the establishment of the exploratory courses for freshman can be found in the Reports of the President to the Board of Trustees for 1934 to 1941.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Annual reports

Subject(s)

  • College freshmen

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Collection Inventory

CartonFolder

Index to Reports of Teachers of Freshman Exploratory Courses 1935-1936 

11

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume I. Arts – Rene d’Harnoncourt 1936 

12

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume I. Arts – Kurt Roesch and John Storck (Drawing and Painting) 1936 

13

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume I. Arts – William Schuman (Arts for Freshmen) 1935-1936 

14

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume II. Literature – Adele Brebner (Contemporary American Literature) 1936 

15

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume II. Literature – Willis Fisher (Exploratory Readings in Literature) 1936 

16

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume II. Literature – Maxwell Geismar (Literature and Environment) 1936 

17

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume II. Literature – Anita Marburg (Modern Problems Through Literature) 1936 

18

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume III. Literature – Esther Raushenbush (Introduction to Literature) 1936 

19

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume III. Literature – Genevieve Taggard (Modern American Literature) 1936 

110

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume IV. Natural Science – Cuthbert Daniel and Henry Miller (Physical Science) 1936 

111

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume IV. Don Reports – Mary Dublin (Freshman Donnees) 1936 

112

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume IV. Don Reports – Henry Ladd (Freshman Donnees) 1936 

113

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume V. Social Sciences – Jacques Barzun (Modern European History), Elizabeth Brown (Opinions and Prejudices), and Wolfgang Lange (Cultural Pressure on Individual) 1936 

114

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume V. Social Sciences – David Efron (Exploratory Psychology) 1936 

115

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume V. Social Sciences – Mary S. Fisher (Intro to Psychology) and Ruth Monroe (Intro to Psychology) 1936 

116

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume V. Social Sciences – Lois B. Murphy (Exploratory Social Sciences) 1936 

117

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume I. Arts – William Schuman (Freshman Arts) and Kurt Roesch and John Storck (Drawing and Painting) 1936 

118

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume I. Arts – William Schuman (Freshman Arts) and Kurt Roesch and John Storck (Drawing and Painting) 1936 

119

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume II. Literature – Katherine Liddell (Writing) and Kathryn Mansell (Literature and Society) 1936-1937 

121

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume III. Natural Science – Oliver S. Loud (Introduction to Natural Science) 1936-1937 

122

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume IV. Social Science – Wolfgang Lange (Political and Social Questions) and Charles Trinkaus (Individual and Society) 1936-1937 

123

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume IV. Social Science – Mary Alice Glavin (Development of a Contemporary Community) 1936-1937 

124

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Mary Alice Glavin (Development of a Community) 1936-1937 

125

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Roderick Menzies (Intro to Psychology) 1937-1938 

126

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Bertha Jenkins (Homemaking) 1937-1938 

127

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Oliver S. Loud (Intro to Natural Science) 1937-1938 

128

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume I. Arts – Lucie Jowers and Helen Worth Scott (Intro to the Visual Arts) 1937-1938 

129

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume I. Arts – John Storck (Exploratory Painting) 1937-1938 

130
BoxFolder

[Number not used] 

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • General Education Board (New York, N.Y.).

Subject(s)

  • College freshmen
21

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume II. Social Science – Charles Trinkaus (Modern European History) 1937-1938 

22

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Volume II. Social Science – Walter A. Rudlin (Intro to Social Science) 1937-1938 

23

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Literature – Genevieve Foster (Contemporary Literature), Katherine Liddell (Writing), and Kathryn Mansell (Literature and Society) 1937-1938 

24

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Literature – Anita Marburg (Modern Problems Through the Novel) 1937-1938 

25

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Mary Alice Glavin (Living in the Community) 1937-1938 

26

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – John Storck (Patterns of Living) 1937-1938 

27

Freshman Exploratory Program Final Reports – Jean C. Trepp (Uses of Field Work in Teaching Economics) 1937-1938 

28

General 1936-1940, 1956 

29

Exploratory Readings in Literature by Willis Fisher 1935-1938 

210

Memorandum on the Exploratory Course in Introductory Psychology of Personality by Eugene Lerner 1940 

211

Memorandum on Exploratory Courses from Committee on Curricular Problems 1957 

212

Report to the General Faculty from Teachers of Exploratory Courses and Dons to Freshmen 1936 

213

"Tentative Summary and Analysis of Reports of Teachers of Freshman Courses" 1935-1936 

214