From NPR February 9, 2010
As enrollment rates in colleges have continued to increase, a new book questions whether the historic number of young people attending college will actually learn all that much once they get to campus. In Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, two authors present a study that followed 2,300 students at 24 universities over the course of four years. The study measured both the amount that students improved in terms of critical thinking and writing skills, in addition to how much they studied and how many papers they wrote for their courses.
Perhaps it is time to rethink how we engage new students. Consider a more combined working/learning model where what is being learned can be applied quickly—and what is being experienced at work can be critically assessed. The first two years of college is usually abstract and disconnected from current or future life. Perhaps it is time to ground our students in learning and work so that they can appreciate what they are learning in a context that will create experiential continuity. Just one thought. What’s yours?