I am happy to announce the launch of Teaching & Learning in Higher Ed. (ISSN 2329-2504), a digital project that supports teachers and reformers in higher education through encouraging serious engagement with the scholarship on teaching and learning.
Few readers of Academically Adrift have missed the significance of Arum and Roksa’s claims about how little students learn. But too many overlook what they say about how to improve.
“It has been well documented that colleges and universities are substantially failing to effectively educate students.” Meanwhile, research and theory on what actually works “flourish in the scholarship on teaching and learning. . .” (The Manifesto). College teachers can make a difference when they engage with this scholarship. Unfortunately, too few do. To encourage changing that, we present our infographic: “Grow the 8%.”
To say the least, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa have made waves in higher education with their book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2010), a national, longitudinal, quantitative study of student learning in the first-two years of college in the U.S. The question driving the study is: “How much are students actually learning in contemporary higher education?” The overarching finding is unsettling. “The answer for many undergraduates,” Arum and Roksa conclude, “is not much” (p. 34).
In Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2007), Derek Bok, former president of Harvard and namesake of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, argues that the current learning crisis is at least in part an identity crisis. We need to think long and hard about the purposes of college, he argues. While many people focus primarily on one or two aims for a college education, such as “critical thinking” or job preparation, Bok asks us to envision the aims of higher learning broadly and deeply.
When I say that the recent scholarship on teaching literature includes the most interesting and significant work currently going on in higher education, readers should know that I am (wildly!) […]