Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Review: Academically Adrift

Book Review: Academically Adrift…. By Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa

Question: How well are college students of today educated?

Answer/Quote: “Academically Adrift, by Richard arum and Josipa Roksa, takes on a well-worn theme—the failure of the U.S. Education system. In this case, higher education. For generations now, employers, policymakers, and faculty themselves have complained about college students. They socialize too much, don’t study enough, and leave college woefully ill-equipped for productive citizenship and employment. On that topic, Arum and Roksa cover familiar ground and arrive at similar conclusions. Of course, students aren’t the only problem in higher education highlighted in Academically Adrift: tenured faculty attend to their own research interests rather than undergraduate education; faculty and administrators cater to ‘consumers,’ privileging ‘customer satisfaction’ over academic quality and rigor; policymakers, seeking greater accountability, turn to standardization and ranking systems (with disappointing results and often punitive consequences, at least in K-12 education); and, culturally, increased commercialization of education means’ credentials’ are valued over competency. For the most part, these critiques are legitimate and well substantiated.” P. 495-496.

Comment: Once again, highlighting failure and weakness over strengths, creativity and competence in education. I keep saying that “This, too, will pass” but the steady drumbeat of failure undermines the spirit by presenting unbalanced conclusions. RayS.

Title: “Important Focus, Limited Perspective.” Carolyn Calhoon-Dillahunt. College Composition and Communication (February 2012), 495-499.

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