Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Academically Adrift: Chapter 5 Part 2

Haley Scholars Fall 2012 Reading Groups   

By Chandra Alford

In part 2 of chapter five, Arum and Roksa are arguing for institutions of higher education to have more transparency. But, the authors acknowledge the pitfalls of having a system that requires these institutions to be more transparent in their reports on student development and learning. Also, the authors recognized the power that higher institutions have in persuading public opinions and policies.

“Standing in the way of significant reform efforts are, of course, a set of entrenched organizational interests and deeply ingrained institutional practices," they write. "While the lack of undergraduate academic learning has generated increased hand-wringing in various quarters, efforts to address the problem have been feeble and ineffective to date. A primary reason is that undergraduate learning is peripheral to the concerns of the vast majority of those involved with the higher-education system” (143).

Based on Arum and Roksa’s observations and claims, how did you respond to the idea that "undergraduate learning is peripheral"? Why?


Robyn Rhone said...

I don't fully understand this question but I'm going to try and answer this to the best of my ability. I do agree that institutions of higher learning should be more transparent. If institutions were more transparent on their reports on students developement and learning state officials could then intervene and take intiative to investigate what the problem is if one exist. Transparent reports could be beneficial but could also be a downfall which could include the institution losing accredidation.

Shakita H. said...

I don't really understand but I am going to answer this question to best of my ability. I do think that higher eduacation systems seem superior or are taken more seriously than undergraduate learning. Some people may think undergraduate learning is not challenging the mind of students and it may be irrelevant or minor because they have achieved a higher education. I do not agree and I feel undergraduate learning is equally important.

Shawn C. said...

The claim that undergraduate education is peripheral I believe is sadly true. With today's economy the main focus of undergraduate institutions has shifted from the education of undergraduate students to trying to keep the business aspect of the institution afloat. In ways I can respect this idea, because without the financial backing there would be no educational institution. However, if the educational prowess is strong enough, then the tuition paid by incoming students should be more than enough to keep the budget of the institution in the black.
A great example of this comes in the form of privately funded medical schools, even though they are very selective the name and educational reputation draw students in. Leaving the financial burden at the doorstep and the caliber of education among the best in the world.

Overall, I feel that the accusation that undergraduate education is being put on the periphery by some of the main operators in the educational system is absolutely true, and may ultimately have a major impact in the future.

Tia Borders Baptist said...

If i understand the question correctly that undergrad is peripheral as usually easy and their no hard work involved. I do not agree because the depending on your major it can be very difficult. I am a nursing major so my undergrad has def been difficult and not a easy ride. I feel some have this perception because on Tv they make it seem like college is easy and only about partying when this is def not the case.