Many people believe they do not need a college education. Others think individuals graduate from college without gaining basic skills and/or knowledge. Perhaps all of them are correct.
Charles Sykes posted an essay at The Daily Signal titled “The Dumbing Down of College Curriculums.” He writes that even some college professors admit that college curriculums are not what they should be.
Sykes quotes Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa from their book “Academically Adrift.” The authors conclude that “45 percent of students `did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning’ during their first two years of college. More than a third (36 percent) `did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning over four years of college.’
“Traditionally, the authors wrote, `teaching students to think critically and communicate effectively’ have been claimed as the `principal goals’ of higher education. But `commitment to these skills appears more a matter of principle than practice.’ Arum and Roksa found.
“`An astounding proportion of students are progressing through higher education today without measurable gains in general skills,’ they wrote. `While they may be acquiring subject-specific knowledge, or greater self-awareness on their journeys through college, many students are not improving their skills in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing.’
“But those are precisely the skills that employers increasingly expect from college graduates. A 2013 survey of employers on behalf of the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 93 percent of employers say that a demonstrated capacity to think critically communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than a candidate’s undergraduate major.
“More than three-quarters of the prospective employers of new college graduates said they wanted colleges to put more emphasis on such basic skills as `critical thinking, complex problem solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge.”
The entire essay is very interesting and informative and worth studying in depth. It brings the question, “Since schools are basically under the control of liberals and progressives, why is learning being dumbed down?” I believe school curriculums are being dumbed down from elementary school through high school and through the university level. Students are not learning how to think and reason in order to solve problems.
What would happen if students were capable of “critical thinking, complex problem solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge?” I believe they would start thinking about what they are gaining from their education and why they are not learning the important issues. If our citizens were capable of these skills, they would stop voting for liberals because they would reason that liberal principles never work. The bottom line is that liberals literally cannot afford for students to gain these skills because the liberals would be out of jobs.