Thursday, July 12, 2018
Richard Arum, dean of the University of California-Irvine’s School of Education and co-author of 2011's blockbuster Academically Adrift, says that U.S. undergraduate education is "failing and declining" because students are not studying nearly enough. He cites several studies that show students are spending on average only 12-13 hours per week prepping for classes which is about half of what students used to spend in 1960 by way of comparison. And a third of college students spend less than an hour studying per day. Yikes. Dean Arum lays part of the blame at faculty for failing to sufficiently inspire students.
Why does this matter to readers of this blog? Because legal educators should be concerned about the studying habits of incoming law students at a time when bar pass rates are hitting all time lows (here, here and here). If the trend identified by Dean Arum holds, it does not portend well for law schools. Check out more of Dean Arum's remarks here via TimesHigherEducation.com (signing up for a free subscription may be required). In the meantime, an excerpt:
Leading sociologist says that universities’ failure to enthuse students is to blame for low levels of study outside the classroom
Undergraduate education is “declining and failing” in US universities because students are not studying enough outside the classroom, an influential educationalist has claimed.
Speaking at Times Higher Education’s inaugural Teaching Excellence Summit, Richard Arum, dean of the University of California, Irvine’s School of Education, blamed falling levels of independent study by students on institutions, stating that they are failing to enthuse students to study or inspire them to prepare for lectures and seminars.
Professor Arum – co-author of the controversial 2011 book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, which sparked worldwide debate on the quality of university learning outcomes – told delegates at the University of Glasgow that recent studies showed that US undergraduates were studying for just 12 to 13 hours a week on average in 2016. This is roughly half the level in 1960, when students committed an average of about 25 hours a week to independent study.
“A third of college students say they spend less than an hour studying alone a day,” said Professor Arum, who underlined that the “academic engagement of students is very low."
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Continue reading here.