Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (New Edition)

Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (New Edition)

by Derek Bok
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0691136181

ISBN-13: 9780691136189

Pub. Date: 12/26/2007

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Drawing on a large body of empirical evidence, former Harvard President Derek Bok examines how much progress college students actually make toward widely accepted goals of undergraduate education. His conclusions are sobering. Although most students make gains in many important respects, they improve much less than they should in such important areas as writing,

Overview

Drawing on a large body of empirical evidence, former Harvard President Derek Bok examines how much progress college students actually make toward widely accepted goals of undergraduate education. His conclusions are sobering. Although most students make gains in many important respects, they improve much less than they should in such important areas as writing, critical thinking, quantitative skills, and moral reasoning. Large majorities of college seniors do not feel that they have made substantial progress in speaking a foreign language, acquiring cultural and aesthetic interests, or learning what they need to know to become active and informed citizens. Overall, despite their vastly increased resources, more powerful technology, and hundreds of new courses, colleges cannot be confident that students are learning more than they did fifty years ago.

Looking further, Bok finds that many important college courses are left to the least experienced teachers and that most professors continue to teach in ways that have proven to be less effective than other available methods. In reviewing their educational programs, however, faculties typically ignore this evidence. Instead, they spend most of their time discussing what courses to require, although the lasting impact of college will almost certainly depend much more on how the courses are taught.

In his final chapter, Bok describes the changes that faculties and academic leaders can make to help students accomplish more. Without ignoring the contributions that America's colleges have made, Bok delivers a powerful critique—one that educators will ignore at their peril.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691136189
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
12/26/2007
Edition description:
New edition with a New afterword by the author
Pages:
434
Sales rank:
885,295
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
CHAPTER 1: The Evolution of American Colleges 11
CHAPTER 2: Faculty Attitudes toward Undergraduate Education 31
CHAPTER 3: Purposes 58
CHAPTER 4: Learning to Communicate 82
CHAPTER 5: Learning to Think 109
CHAPTER 6: Building Character 146
CHAPTER 7: Preparation for Citizenship 172
CHAPTER 8: Living with Diversity 194
CHAPTER 9: Preparing for a Global Society 225
CHAPTER 10: Acquiring Broader Interests 255
CHAPTER 11: Preparing for a Career 281
CHAPTER 12: Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education 310
Notes 345
Index 395

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >