Some subscribers to LrnAsst- L might be interested in a recent 
discussion-list post"U.S. Colleges Put Low Priority on Student 
Learning." The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: Norman Stahl of the LrnAsst-L list pointed to Julie Mack's 
report <> "U.S. colleges put low priority on 
student learning, say authors of 'We're Losing Our Minds'."  Mack 
writes that Richard Hersh, co-author with Richard Keeling of "We're 
Losing Our Minds" <> commented at a recent 
Educational Writers Association convention: "Higher education really 
needs to question its priorities, rewards, structures, principles and 
values. Learning itself must become a primary touchstone for 

Among other recent books critical of higher education are: (a) 
"Higher Education?: How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing 
Our Kids - and What We Can Do About It" (Hacker & Dreifus, 2010) 
<>; (b) "Academically Adrift: Limited Learning 
on College Campuses" (Arum & Roksa, 2011) <>, and 
(c) "College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be" (Delbanco, 2012) 

Richard Wolin <>, in his insightful review 
<> of Delbanco's book, has this to say about the 
current state of higher education:

"America's most prominent philosopher of democracy, John Dewey, 
devoted a considerable portion of his oeuvre to reflecting on the 
methods and goals of public education. . . . . In his view, the 
pedagogical key to cultivating the virtues of active citizenship lay 
with the antiauthoritarian, dialogic approach of the Socratic method: 
Dewey believed that democratic education, instead of acquiescing to 
the mind-numbing requirements of rote instruction, should focus on 
honing critical thinking, thereby nurturing autonomy. . . . . 
..although contemporary educators might agree about the indispensable 
value of liberal learning, if directly challenged to define its 
content and purport, they become stricken with paralysis. . . .  THE 
of the major casualties of the restructuring of undergraduate 
education along vocational and pre-professional lines has been 
Dewey's ideal of liberal study as training for democratic 

To access the complete 19 kB post please click on <>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
<[log in to unmask]>
Links to Articles: <>
Links to SDI Labs: <>
Blog: <>
Academia: <>
Twitter <!/rrhake>

"The academic area is one of the most difficult areas to change in 
our society. We continue to use the same methods of instruction, 
particularly lectures, that have been used for hundreds of years. 
Little scientific research is done to test new approaches, and little 
systematic attention is given to the development of new methods. 
Universities that study many aspects of the world ignore the 
educational function in which they are engaging and from which a 
large part of their revenues are earned."
- Richard M. Cyert, former president of Carnegie Mellon University, 
quoted in Tuma & Reif (1980):

REFERENCES [All URL's shortened by <> and accessed on 
26 May 2012.]
Hake, R.R. 2012. "U.S. Colleges Put Low Priority on Student 
Learning," online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at 
<>. Post of 25 May 2012 16:57:20-0700 to AERA-L 
and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are also 
being transmitted to several discussion lists and are on my blog 
"Hake'sEdStuff" at <> with a provision for 

Tuma, D.T. & F. Reif, eds. 1980. "Problem Solving and Education: 
Issues in Teaching and Research,"  Lawrence Erlbaum. 
information at <>

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