Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Academically Adrift: Chapter 5 (121 - 135)

Haley Scholars Fall 2012 Reading Groups   

By Chandra Alford

In Chapter 5 of Academically Adrift, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa present their claims about the type of reform that needs to occur at the collegiate level in this country. The authors address several key issues, such as limited learning, student preparation, higher education leadership, and curriculum and instruction. The lack of reform with these issues, the authors claim, is impacting the competitive edge our education system has had over other countries for many decades.

Arum and Roksa make very strong claims in this chapter, but one in particular seems to embody their entire argument about the need to have mandatory reform in higher education: “While higher education is expected to accomplish many tasks -- and contemporary colleges and universities have indeed contributed to society in ways as diverse as producing pharmaceutical patent as well as primetime athletic bowls -- existing organizational cultures and practices too often do not prioritize undergraduate learning” (122).

Based on the material covered so far in this chapter, which of the issues highlighted by the authors--limited learning, student preparation, higher education leadership, and curriculum and instruction, do you believe should be addressed first in order to start the process of reformation in higher education in this country? Why?


Hilary Conrad said...

I think the first step in reformation should be with curriculum and instruction. First off, I think that kids need an instructor that is going to make want to learn and encourage them to want to learn. The curriculum should be challenging and interesting at the same time.

Teachers that can do both of these things are hard to come by, but these are the teachers that make a lasting impression. My favorite teacher was my third grade teacher because she made the topics we learned about fun and interesting.

Kizzy Hopkins said...

The first step in higher education restructering is to set universal standards meaning; Curriculm, institutional policy, learning assesment, individual and institutions should have a standard comprehensive goal.

A universal higher academic standard would prevent under-educated undergraduates. Futhermore, other factor may contribute to limited learning such as; social environment and demographic changes. Therefore I can not blame one or the other. I think that it is a combined effort of mis-educatioon on all parts.

Monique Williams said...

I believe the first issue that should be addressed to start the process of reformation in higher education is student preparation. I think it is very important that students take responsibility for their academics.

I feel that I hear too often students blame their lack of success on external factors like a bad professor or the material was just too difficult. While I think external factors can impact our direction, I do not think those things define out success or failure. I believe it is crucial that students make their education a priority.

Jasmine said...

I believe the first step that needs to be addressed is curriculum and instruction. While all aspects mentioned are vital to being successful in your academics I believe this to be the one that highly influences the others. How can one learn enough, prepare themselves, or be a leader without first having seen a good example through good instruction.

Students with good work ethic tend to automatically blame fellow students for simply not pushing themselves hard enough and while this is true in some cases one must also look at the educational background of a student. I have noticed that every student I know with a good work ethic and a want to learn had at least one instructor in their past who was just as eager and inspired to teach. One isn't just motivated on their own. Their motivated because there are people around them who constantly push and motivate them.

No student should just blame their academic problems on the instructor, but at the same time no instructor should take their place lightly as so many do now. I believe good instruction and curriculum can make the difference between a success case and someone who's just full of inapplicable potential.