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A nation of dummies? NYU study says college students aren’t learning

According to a recent study by New York University, approximately half of college freshman and sophomores show little academic gains- researchers concluded these non-learning students were more focused on their social activities.

The report also pointed out that college professors tend to focus on their own research rather than teaching incoming students and undergrads typically studied 50 percent less than college graduates a few decades ago.

The book that included the study, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses’ author, Richard Arum of NYU says “These are really kind of shocking, disturbing numbers.”

A chart indicates that college students spend 51 percent of their week socializing. That is followed by sleeping, 24 percent; working, volunteering, student clubs and attending class, nine percent. The report concluded that students allocated the least amount of their time studying, seven percent or 23 hours.

More than 3,000 students participated in the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test that measures critical thinking, analytic reasoning as well as writing skills.

Once students completed four years of college only 36 percent of those tested showed improvement.

Arum said the students who participated in this study had a 3.2 grade-point average. However he pointed out that “students are able to navigate through the system quite well with little effort.”

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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