You are told that to make it life, you must go to college. You work hard to get there. You or your parents drain savings or take out huge loans to pay for it all.
And you end up learning ... not much.
A study of more than 2,300 undergraduates found 45 percent of students show no significant improvement in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years.
Not much is asked of students, either. Half did not take a single course requiring 20 pages of writing during their prior semester, and one-third did not take a single course requiring even 40 pages of reading per week.
There's more at the link. Not sure about this one - I'm in school, and I see the workload in a cross section of classes because of the nature of my major. It's been rare for English classes to require a ton or reading and writing - either you're reading a ton and only writing a few papers, or you're only reading a little and doing a lot of writing. Classes in math you're not going to see a lot of either, and in computers, you do long lectures and literally hours of coding and programming, but your books are for reference.
I won't argue that there aren't people skating their way through and not actually learning much, but I wonder if quantifying number of pages read or written is really an accurate gauge - I've had arts classes that require more reading or writing than some core or specialty classes, and I've had plenty of core and specialty classes that more than make up for the lack of reading and writing in research, group presentations and special projects.Answer Question
Answer by gemgem at 11:04 AM on Jan. 18, 2011
Answer by AmaliaD at 11:07 AM on Jan. 18, 2011
45 percent of students show no significant improvement in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years.
Those things tend to be pretty static, they're how IQ scores work. I thought university was for teaching people things.... i.e History, Philosophy, Medicine..... If after their uni course they don't improve writing but can perform a heart surgery, i'd say that's an improvement.
Half did not take a single course requiring 20 pages of writing during their prior semester, and one-third did not take a single course requiring even 40 pages of reading per week.
Not a lot of writing required for maths, physics, art, drama etc.....
Definitly biased..... The point of uni is to be proficient and more advanced in the subject you study, however that is achieved.
Answer by Piskie at 11:14 AM on Jan. 18, 2011
Skewed- and some of it is common sense. Obviously math and science majors are not going to be taking a great of classes that require heavy reading and writing. My son, who is a sophomore at a UC campus in CA, said that since the budget cuts and economic issues in CA, fewer classes are being offered AND the profs are taking attendance in each class (what a waste of time). You do not show up or come late, and you're dropped.
Isn't general ed for honing of broad based skills: writing, science, language, computing, history, art...., while major requirements focus on specific skills and intricate knowledge?
Answer by Sisteract at 11:51 AM on Jan. 18, 2011
Answer by lovinangels at 12:43 PM on Jan. 18, 2011
Answer by okmanders at 1:45 PM on Jan. 18, 2011
Answer by peace013 at 6:33 PM on Jan. 18, 2011
They need to see how/if it changes after they begin their major's courses. Freshman and sophomore years are liberal arts for the most part. It is the junior and senior years that really gets you in the meat of the discipline. Maybe they should survey again (if they haven't). I think that most people have to actually get to their work and hone in the skills they learned, put to practice all the book knowledge, and then the real deductive reasoning, forward thinking, mature person emerges. It's hard to think and go to frat parties! Not me...but someone else......
Answer by jesse123456 at 9:25 PM on Jan. 18, 2011
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