Following the College’s decision to cut a popular education course from its fall offerings, undergraduates released a petition on Monday calling on Harvard’s administration to reconsider.
The College placed General Education 1076: “Equity and Excellence in K12 American Schools” — helmed by Harvard Graduate School of Education lecturer Katherine K. “Kay” Merseth — on a two-year rotation due to “budget constraints” necessitated by the pandemic on the General Education Program, according to College spokesperson Rachael Dane.
Merseth said she “was devastated” when she received an email on Jan. 14 informing her that her course had been nixed from the upcoming academic year’s Gen Ed offerings.
“If Harvard truly wants to continue its “rich history of pedagogical innovation, the College should bolster institutional supports for students seeking to study education—not eliminate them,” it added. Allison P. Pao ’21, a co-author of the petition and former course assistant, said the course was “life-changing” and “one of the primary reasons” she has chosen a career in education. “This course changes lives and changes people’s career paths,” she said.
Pao compared the class to other popular foundational courses that are important for introducing students to a particular field.