[Academically Adrift [BOOK] Free Read online Epub by Richard Arum – Kindle eBook, TXT & PDF Download

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Ses transcript data and for the first time the state of the art Collegiate Learning Assessment a standardized test administered to students in their first semester and then again at the end of their second year According to their analysis of than 2300 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 As troubling as their findings are Arum and Roksa argue that for many faculty and administrators they. I jumped into this book thinking it was going to be the most important book on education that I d read this year I was sorely disappointed Arum bemoans the decline of critical thinking complex reasoning and written communication so much it becomes the mantra of the book And yet the book itself is as poorly written as any other dense self important piece of academese that I ve ever had the irritation to read Here s a sample sentence Full time faculty in resource poor institutions likely feel increasingly overwhelmed and demoralized by the growing institutional demands placed on them and their inability to identify sufficient resources to maintain traditional levels of support for undergraduate education If this were submitted by one of my students I would write in the margin SIMPLIFY This sentence could make its point so much better is fewer words Faculty feel so much pressure on the job they can t focus on their students educationMy other complaint is that in addition to all the jargon I also had to wade through piles and piles of data which the author felt very little incentive to actually interpret for the reader Isn t the job of an author to synthesize and package hard research into palatable chunks for their readers consumption Many a time I felt my eyes just glazing over as I tried to make sense of a paragraph of statistics and percentages It does little justice to the data if it is left raw and inaccessible to the readerDespite my complaints the book is important As Arum and Roksa write in a surprisingly engaging last chapter A Mandate for Reform The dissatisfaction of corporate leaders in the private sector with the uality of US undergraduate education has become palpable and graduates are simply NOT showing up to the work force with the basic skills that employers and the economy as a whole desperately reuires We ve got a long road ahead of us

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Academically Adrift

In spite of soaring tuition costs and students go to college every year A bachelor’s degree is now reuired 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 uestion posed by Academically Adrift are undergraduates really learning anything once they get thereFor a large proportion of students Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’s answer to that uestion is a definitive no Their extensive research draws on survey respon. Academically Adrift highlights an important problem with higher education extremely low levels of learning as measured in terms of critical thinking complex problem solving and communicationThe authors are careful to point out that this does not mean that all forms of learning are in decline specifically the tests used did not in any way measure subject domain specific knowledge However the authors rightly assert that the particular forms of learning they concern themselves with critical thinking complex problem solving and communication skills are considered essential by employers and faculty alike are widely viewed as being in decline and that it is the responsibility of higher education to foster uantifiable growth in those areasBased on observational studies the book is very limited in terms of offering practical advice for reform however the authors do seem to do a good job of articulating the complexity of the problem and its many levels particularly as it relates to the culture on American campuses at colleges and universitiesThough the advice they offer is scant and often generic the authors do point out several activities and characteristics that appear to have either a positive or a negative relationship with learning including working on or off campus living on or off campus studying individually or alone involvement in fraternities or sororities involvement in clubs or student organizations interaction with faculty course reuirements race academic preparation number of AP courses taken in high school andor SATACT scores parents education levelsSome of the relationships observed do seem to point to areas where specific changes could lead to improved learning eg increased interaction with faculty however I find many needing further examination to clarify the observed relationship Obviously their research being observational one cannot infer causal influences however they offer many theories which I find suspect eg the effects of group study Appropriately the authors do stress the need for future research to develop a better understanding of what they have observedWhile reading chapter 5 A Mandate for Reform a few things came to mind One yes the basic mandates the authors espouse are good but they are philosophical than practical focusing on undergraduate student learning finding and keeping good faculty exhibiting higher expectations on students etc And where their suggestions are most concrete eg reuiring intensive coursework defined as reading 40 or pages per week and writing 20 pages or per semester I see problems regarding implementation as well as effectivenessFor one there is the problem of time Using my own personal experience as a reference which may or may not be considered average of course I know that I struggle a great deal with finding time for studying or with maintaining attention and focus as I study Although I am a good student I achieve relatively high marks I am regularly on the Dean s list and generally receive praise from my professors nevertheless I still struggle uite a bit with the idea of trying to simply study or produce work That s not to say that I don t think I m capable of doing work than I do now rather I tend to feel like I don t perform up to my full capacity I just don t think that simply adding is the solution I think it is a case of needing to work smarter not necessarily longerI agree with their concerns regarding the consumer based mindset of higher education institutions in culture What conservative policy makers have missed however is that market based educational reforms that elevate the role of students as consumers do not necessarily yield improved outcomes in terms of student learning pg 137 They present the issue fairly though outlining the positive effects such a mentality has had however they are uick to remind us of its possible conseuences as wellFinal Thoughts Academically Adrift was a good book to read even if as another reviewer pointed out it is really a research paper disguised as a book It is limited in that it is strictly observational in nature although it could identify the problem and highlight areas of concern it could do little for making practical suggestions for reform though the authors do provide some advice based on their findingsThey do a good job of establishing the problem I agree with their finding that learning as defined for their study is in strong decline and I agree that something or rather a great many things needs done to try to correct the problem Their critiue of the culture of higher education was enlightening too Although I have reservations about some of their findings I agree with their mandate for further research and with their overarching goals However while I believe the general cultural reforms the authors indicated are important pieces of the puzzle I think some of the items the book did not emphasize are perhaps important to exploreFor one I think academic preparation before entering college has become ineffective and needs substantial reform In addition I think society has changed so much that new methods of teaching learning and organization need to be developed in order to better reach the needs of today s students

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Will come as no surprise instead they are the expected result of a student body distracted by socializing or working and an institutional culture that puts undergraduate learning close to the bottom of the priority list Academically Adrift holds sobering lessons for students faculty administrators policy makers and parents all of whom are implicated in promoting or at least ignoring contemporary campus culture Higher education faces crises on a number of fronts but Arum and Roksa’s report that colleges are failing at their most basic mission will demand the attention of us al. This is a book that should be read by every college professor dean provost and president Far too many of our colleges are failing in their mission to educate undergraduates The authors suggest one crude recommendation which they reiterate ad nauseum have students read at least 40 pages a week per class and have them write over twenty pages in at least one class This makes sense Apparently students are able to graduate from college without doing much studying reading or writing One of the culprits is grade inflation Another is the idiotic belief by administrators that students are customers and that education is a commodity to be sold like Big Macs or milk shakes In actuality students are like patients or clients who come to a highly trained professional who can treat their illness ignorance They can t have it their way they can t say hold the literature hold the math hold the history Students need to take general education classes to be reasonably well educated people The goal is not just earning a credential a diploma The diploma is only paper it is a a symbol of earning knowledge and skills The good news is that the math science and humanities majors do the best in critical thinking Business majors are at the bottom with education and communication majors not far behindWe as a nation can fix this problem if only we have the will


10 thoughts on “Academically Adrift

  1. says:

    This is really a research article disguised as a book That's the worst part of this study Also the graphics are miserable and the uality of the writing is wooden So much for the bad The good is that this work is perhaps the final brick in the wall in assessing the nature of contemporary college education Chris Healy and I put one brick in that wall college grades are ridiculously high in comparison to past grading standards Babcock and M

  2. says:

    After receiving a pretty lucrative grant from some folks I just can't name here at my former gig at Pacific Tech I recruited a large group of our best and brightest to help me work on some really exciting cutting edge science We were building a laser something that could revolutionize the industry But these kids bright as they may have been needed motivation They were a slack bunch always goofing off I needed to ride them hard and I did

  3. says:

    Academically Adrift highlights an important problem with higher education extremely low levels of learning as m

  4. says:

    I jumped into this book thinking it was going to be the most important book on education that I'd read this year I was sorely disapp

  5. says:

    This is a splendid dry detailed and frustrating little book potentially interesting to most people involved in higher education teac

  6. says:

    510Very uneven chapters depending on the coauthors Some are very insightful but two do nothing but unbelievable rhetorical and mental contortions to try oh so hard to not let hereditarianism or biological group difference

  7. says:

    Academically Adrift Limited Learning on College Campuses is a detailed collection of statistics and cross references to additional research compiled by the authors While the book contains 259 pages the relevant information it presents is limited to the first 144 pages The remainder is devoted to the bibliography and validation of the authors’ statistical analysisThe book can be summarized by three basic th

  8. says:

    This is a book that should be read by every college professor dean provost and president Far too many of our colleges are f

  9. says:

    I looked at some of the other GoodReads reviews after I finished this book and I have to agree with those who said the writing style is wooden and not engaging But I was interested enough in the topic and the findings to read the whole thing fairly uickly and during finals week It was fascinating to read this while grading final pr

  10. says:

    Five stars do not seem enough reward for this book Every university academic and every student should read it The writers demonstrate how and why 'limited learning' takes places in our courses and classrooms Their arguments are both horrifying and inspiring If we think differently and behave differently then we can make a difference This book has changed how I think about the world

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