le plus loin le plus serré

le plus loin le plus serré
mourning art

in memoriam

"yet I tell you, from the sad knowledge of my older experience, that to every one of you a day will most likely come when sunshine, hope, presents and pleasure will be worth nothing to you in comparison with the unattainable gift of your mother's kiss." (Christina Rossetti, "Speaking Likenesses," 1873)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

what he says

From the very, very smart Philip Nel, a pithy summary and rejoinder about the study, publicized today, that claims college students aren't learning anything.

To quote from Nel's quoting from Inside higher ed, the study shows:
Students majoring in liberal arts fields see “significantly higher gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills over time than students in other fields of study.” Students majoring in business, education, social work and communications showed the smallest gains. (The authors note that this could be more a reflection of more-demanding reading and writing assignments, on average, in the liberal arts courses than of the substance of the material.)

I read this finding with joy this morning - my liberal-arts education, and my undergraduate liberal-arts college are exceedingly important to me. I would not be the brilliant and incisive (/end sarcasm /end hyperbole) reader and thinker I am today without them. I believe in the liberal arts education. It's nice to know that there are some at least quasi-scientific findings to back that up.

Of course, this tidbit gets buried in the ridiculous hyperbole of reportage: Nel quotes one article titled "University students learn next to nothing."

Go read Phil Nel's post. It's short and sweet, and says everything I would say much more intelligently and concisely. One thing my liberal-arts education didn't seem to successfully teach me is how to restrain my verbosity.

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