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36. Are Students Really Learning? > Why Aren’t Students Learning Enough?

Why Aren’t Students Learning Enough?

Academically Adrift is an indictment of an industry that has been more preoccupied with attracting students and entertaining them than providing their customers with a meaningful learning experience. The study results naturally lead to this question: Why aren’t more students learning?

Lowered expectations are certainly a major culprit. Many professors do not demand much from their students. About a third of the students in the study didn’t take any courses that required more than 40 pages of reading a week. In addition, half didn’t take a single course that required more than 20 pages of writing in a semester. More than a third of students spent less than five hours a week studying.

It’s been far easier and lucrative for institutions to devote energy and money into things that can be measured and exploited by marketers. Erecting a breathtaking student union or a palace for the business school will bring more paying customers in the door. And families are more likely to ignore institutions that haven’t made this a priority. In chasing prestige, universities are just as eager to hire the hottest researchers even if these stars are allergic to undergrads.


  

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