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Old 01-28-2011, 01:25 AM
 
3,853 posts, read 12,871,350 times
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I saw this in the amazon bestsellers top 100.

Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses

and the product description:

Quote:
In spite of soaring tuition costs, more and more students go to college every year. A bachelor’s degree is now required for entry into a growing number of professions. And some parents begin planning for the expense of sending their kids to college when they’re born. Almost everyone strives to go, but almost no one asks the fundamental question posed by Academically Adrift: are undergraduates really learning anything once they get there?

Last edited by toobusytoday; 01-28-2011 at 07:07 AM.. Reason: link and snippet please
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:23 AM
 
22,768 posts, read 30,751,535 times
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my large state university had one or two huge schools that were 'diploma mills.' it was widely accepted among the student body that this is where people end up when they can't hack it in the other schools with higher standards.

these easy schools just-so-happened to be the most "profitable" and send more revenue back to the university per head than the other departments, which i am sure is just a coincidence. they handled large volumes of students who get soft degrees.

in other words, depending on the university, they might not kick out the really weak students -- they might keep charging them tuition, herd them together in low-cost degrees, and ensure they graduate.

Last edited by le roi; 01-28-2011 at 05:38 AM..
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:57 AM
 
5,500 posts, read 10,526,327 times
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Seems like it says first two years? Often kids are trying to figure out what to major in.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:29 AM
 
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I haven't read the book yet, but have seen some of the related articles that have come out recently. One of the items that popped out at me was their finding that with traditional liberal arts majors improved more so than did students in more "practical" majors. Given that they also found that many students did very little reading or writing, it makes sense that the students in the fields that DO require a great deal of both would be the ones to reap the benefits. It's often very frustrating to see (on this forum and out in the "real" world) so many critical remarks about studying the liberal arts being "worthless;" perhaps these findings will help to counteract that. Want to really learn how to think in college? Major in the liberal arts!

I believe one criticism has been that this book doesn't show the accumulation of content knowledge, though. I still don't think that's an excuse -- even the business majors should come out of college with more critical thinking skills and demonstrating superior writing than when they entered -- but that doesn't mean that those in more "practical" courses of study aren't learning content.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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I've read a book similar to this entitled Profscam by Charles Sykes. Chris Hedges also debated this topic in his book entitled Empire of Illusion.

I have a master's degree. And I can tell you that a lot of professors are pretentious charlatans. They talk a big game but teach very little. Almost everything is learning in groups: so there is a lot of peer pressure to unify and conform. They harass and abuse their students to make their job appear legitimate and credible. If you see harassment or a hostile atmosphere you know it's fraud: change programs or universities if you see that. It's the same as a criminal enterprise.

Last edited by artsyguy; 01-28-2011 at 09:34 AM..
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:23 AM
 
1,475 posts, read 2,557,239 times
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[quote=killer2021;17613782]"...are undergraduates really learning anything once they get there?"[quote]

No one cares. The parents are glad the kids are out of the house and they don't want to be burdened by "knowing" if their kids are learning. The parent figure let someone else (the school) worry about it.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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I was in a graduate program that was extremely demanding: they demanded an abundance of annoying busy work month after month. Well, I never use it in the professional field. Talk about a waste of "hard work". Strenuous work doesn't mean it's useful nor does it mean I learned anything. Most of the undergraduate and graduate programs are pretentious and pedantic. It's a waste of money unless you are going to be a banker or a doctor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by le roi View Post
in other words, depending on the university, they might not kick out the really weak students -- they might keep charging them tuition, herd them together in low-cost degrees, and ensure they graduate.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:33 AM
 
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Anyone can go to a library and learn on their own. Why do you need to learn in groups or with what your professor says is "correct". The average books you study in one course is one. Sometimes your professors will require two books and several articles; but it is of the same author or ideology. A lot of times the professors do not use the book for class assignments. You really aren't learning anything even if you do 400 pages of reports and word problems and group learning.

[quote=Rich_CD;17617336][quote=killer2021;17613782]"...are undergraduates really learning anything once they get there?"
Quote:

No one cares. The parents are glad the kids are out of the house and they don't want to be burdened by "knowing" if their kids are learning. The parent figure let someone else (the school) worry about it.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:09 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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" The average books you study in one course is one. "

not in a hum or social science course at a good university.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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"According to their analysis of more than 2,300 undergraduates at twenty-four institutions, 45 percent of these students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills—including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing—during their first two years of college."

they may have still learned facts, but not improved in skills.
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