Is Our College Students Learning? Not Really.

Posted by | January 18, 2011 19:46 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Higher education is under a series of stresses that will force upon it massive changes in the decades ahead.  The government is reducing funding for public institutions, where most college students attend.  Meanwhile, the demand for a college education continues to increase, leading to a student body that is not as well prepared as the generations that preceded it.  Have universities changed their pedagogy to deal with these new students?

Nearly half of the nation’s undergraduates show almost no gains in learning in their first two years of college, in large part because colleges don’t make academics a priority, a new report shows.

Instructors tend to be more focused on their own faculty research than teaching younger students, who in turn are more tuned in to their social lives.

Uh, that would be no.  As much as I would love to bash my academic colleagues, this is the result of the university system setting up incentives that lead to poor teaching and a lack of interest in teaching.  When you are rewarded for your research first and foremost, then that is what you will spend your time on.  But the system will have to change; parents, and students, and state legislatures will demand it.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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