Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Does College Make You Smarter


First there was the news that students in American universities study a lot less than they used to. Now we hear, in a recent book titled "Academically Adrift," that 45 percent of the nation's undergraduates learn very little in their first two years of college.

The study, by two sociologists, Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia, also found that half of the students surveyed did not take any classes requiring 20 pages of writing in their prior semester, and one-third did not take any courses requiring 40 pages of reading a week.

The research has come in for some criticism. But a larger question is: Have colleges, in their efforts to keep graduation rates high and students happy, dumbed down their curriculums? If they have, who is to blame? What should parents and federal taxpayers do?


Saul said...

This idea of College maybe making you smart has gotten to me thinking. If we have doubts about a college education where we are starting to see that forty-five percent of college graduates learn very little their first two years and that half of those students took classes that required less than 20 pages of writing and less than 40 pages of required reading, then where is the rest of our education system. Lets keep in mind that college students pay to take classes and learn. What does that say of our high schools, our middle schools, our elementary schools. Where do they stand? I hope we all already have an idea. My point being that if we are questioning whether college class curriculums have been dumbed down, then how much have we dumbed down our High, Middle, and Elementary School's curriculums. Leaving hundreds of thousands of graduating high school students unready for college, is it their fault? Partially I'd say, but the education they are receiving right now must be a large reason as to why some of them aren't ready for college. I believe we should attack this problem with programs such as Ready by Five and by changing the education system by demanding more our of education systems.
-Saul Moran

Gaganjit Khinda said...

Oh this is really shocking because I always thought that the college is really hard. I don't think its right to make the curriculum easy, just to make the students happy and to have more graduates. If this is true, then we are going to have to do something about it!!

cmgardner713 said...

If instructors choose to dumb down the curriculum then they deserve a BIG FAT PAY CUT to go right along with it!!

If all students are required to take an entrance exam into college in order to place into a 'level-ready' class then that should tell the administration what kind of education the incoming college students already have. I am not referring to those who are returning to college to gain skills for a better job because they are now unemployed, I am talking about the high school kids coming on board. **it rolls downhill so if there seems to be a trend then read what Saul had to say. I agree with his comments.

Diana.Blizzard said...

I think that the problem is mainly that some people are only going to college for a sheet of paper, most often referred to as a degree. So obviously they won't be learning anything in their first years because the degree is the only thing they have their mind set on. Only later on do these people begin to realize that if you actually do try to learn something in college, then it will be helpful later on in life.