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During their final class, Custer and his students reflected on the experience of “test-driving a class,” as Custer puts it. Comparing the class with the lecture classes he took during his first semester, freshman Thomas Moulia said, “It gives you a better idea what doing work in a scientific field would be like.” Expanding such classes to make hands-on learning accessible to more students, Custer says, would require a lot of money and staff, and Sports Physics has been denied further funding. Still, he and his students seem convinced that the hands-on approach is the best way to learn.

The 11 Principles of an MIT Education

The 1998 Task Force on Student Life and Learning summarized MIT’s mission:

Founding Principles

1. The value of useful knowledge

2. Societal responsibility

3. Learning by doing

4. Combining a liberal education with a professional education

Lewis Principles

5. Education as preparation for life

6. The value of fundamentals

7. Excellence and limited objectives

8. Unity of the faculty

Task Force Principles

9. An integrated educational triad of academics, research, and community

10. Intensity, curiosity, and excitement

11. The importance of diversity

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Credit: Maki and Associates

Tagged: MIT

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