Saturday, January 21, 2006

College students lack literacy for complex tasks

I mentioned some of this data a few weeks ago on the blog, but it has it the national media this week. It ran on the front page of the Northwestern yesterday and made CNN this weekend as well.

It is an quite a problem for higher education to see statistics like this, but it is well known that our standards as teachers have been dropping for years. Any comparison of the amount of work we asked out of students a decade ago or more would show a drastic reduction. On the other hand, a greater number of students are less prepared than they would have been then. - Study: College students lack literacy for complex tasks - Jan 20, 2006


Janine said...

I'm curious to know what you think could be done about the problem? If all else was equal (high schools didn't change their teaching methods) do you think that prof. should expect more out of their students and therefore have better students? Do you have a different idea on how to correct the problem?


Anonymous said...

The requirements have become watered down over the years. We now allow kids in High School to earn College credits. Why not tighten up the cirriculum so this is not allowed. College courses ar for college students.

Lake Winneblogo said...

One of the biggest problems is that universities are now judged by both access and retention. Thus, administrators and politicians want as many students admitted as possible and then want to keep them there.

It is important to realize that if the failure rate started to climb, there would be hell to pay. We watched the PBS video entitled "Declining by Degrees" as a group last Fall, which makes that point very clearly. (It is in Polk library--I recommend it highly)

I don't really have any good solutions.