Academically Adrift

Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa's Academically Adrift: Learning on College Campuses argues that students learn less and less at colleges every year and demonstrate no significant improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills throughout their college careers. Moreover, the worst students (i.e., the most static and unchanging) tend to be Education and Business majors, whereas the best students (i.e., the ones whose minds grow, evolve, refine, etc.) major in the Humanities or Math and Science. Of course, this dynamic has a lot to do with faculty. Arum and Roksa's findings are hardly revelatory for, say, a Humanities professor like me who works closely with faculty from all fields of study. But it's nice to see them confirmed.