45% of Students don't learn in first 2 years of college

1/28/2011 11:11:00 AM / Posted by Iron Lung /

Reblogged from http://phi2010.blogspot.com
Thursday, January 20, 2011
45% of students don't learn much in college

In the Huffington Post.
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.

My Response:

There seem to be several factors wrong with this study. For one, we have no information on the control group. Students learn in a variety of ways, and some students won’t grasp concepts as easy if they are not taught in a style they understand.
I have attended both a four-year university and a community college and my experiences differ from others. I was at a four-year school right out of high school and my maturity level was on the floor. 300 plus students in a lecture with professors who could careless if you pass or fail, it was the TV experience in a way. I had a few professors tell me they taught part time at Miami Dade and after failing a few classes I gave it a try. It took awhile for me to get back into school but retaking some courses at the college level I noticed vast differences.
First and foremost, class sizes. 45 students in a class may seem packed to some but this was miniscule to me. And generally the professors seem more motivated to actually teach you something. My problem was just that the material seemed a lot easier. Maybe it was the time away from school, my maturity level rising, standards taking a dive in order to raise graduation rates, I don’t know; but two courses I failed at the university level, I passed with ridiculous ease last semester at Dade. It feels more like 13th grade then it does a college or university.
For this study to be prevalent, it should discuss the type of students that were polled and also compare academic goals past and present to highlight any deviations. Whether or not the student works and how many hours is also a factor. The study may not have to divulge the names of the institutions but at least its status as a 4 or 2-year school. This macro view on the quality of education also alienates the individuals. Perhaps where I found classes easier, someone else found more personal and therefore learned the subject better than they would have at a bigger school.
I wouldn’t take this study too seriously; education truly is what you make of it. 


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