Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Academically Adrift

A new book, titled Academically Adrift, has raised some troubling questions about how much students actually learn at college. The study, by Professors Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, examines the progress made by a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 students who entered 24 four-year colleges in the fall of 2005. The study finds that 36% of students showed no gains in reasoning and writing skills over four years of college, based on a test called the Collegiate Learning Assessment. Some people already have raised concerns about the book's approach. However, many people acknowledge that the book makes some strong points, particularly with regard to writing skills. I look forward to reading the book and learning more about the research methodology and details of the findings. Every college educator should read this book and take the findings seriously.

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