Once again it turns out I am with or ahead of the times, not behind. This semester I was convinced to give up my claim that we need an articulated curriculum if students are to make satisfactory progress to degree, and to endorse the allegedly new, individualistic practice Gerald Graff called “courseocentrism” in an address to the MLA I missed.
But now there is this from Russell Berman:
It is a common practice in some social sciences for entering students to face an articulated set of required courses with clear benchmarks and learning goals.1 In contrast, in some literature fields, annual course offerings vary in accordance with individual faculty predilections.
1. That an articulated curriculum is not the norm in the literary humanities is discussed by Gerald Graff: “We still think of teaching in ways that are narrowly private and individualistic, as something we do in isolated classrooms, while knowing little about what our colleagues are doing in the next classroom or the next building” (728).
I am not convinced by Berman’s four-year PhD plan, but that is a separate question.