Friday, January 21, 2011

Do you really learn anything in college?

The AP had an interesting and sobering article the other day (running in today's Daily Progress) on a new study that suggests most students really don't learn that much in college:

The research 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.

One problem is that students just aren't asked to do much, according to findings in a new book, "Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses." Half of students 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.

The old saying is that education is wasted on the young.  Now it seems that the young might be wasted on education.  Having visited several schools with my daughter over the last year, it seems that in many place the greatest emphasis is on the "college experience" (sporting events, social life, parties, clubs and organizations, fitness centers, etc.) rather than the "education experience."

This gives plenty of food for thought.  You can understand why many Christian parents who have homeschooled their children are now reevaluating sending them off to college.  If you spend the money and time to go to college, then it, at least, ought to be done purposefully. 


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