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Academically Adrift. Limited Learning on College Campuses. Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa. The University of Chicago Press. Chicago and London. Richard. Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa's book entitled Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (University of Chicago Press, ), appears at a. PDF | 10 minutes read | On May 1, , Paul Attewell and others published Riddle Remains in Academically Adrift.

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In Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa ask provocative and important questions: What if. Josipa RoKsa, coauthor of Academically Adrift: Limited nearly 1, students from the Academically Adrift cohort in order ppti.info The book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa is published by University of Chicago Press.

The researchers focused on the first two years of undergraduate education in which students take a number of their general education courses.

They sought to determine how much students learned in this part of their undergraduate education. Instead of using internal assessments that addressed discipline specific content, researchers used an instrument called the CLA the Collegiate Learning Assessment , which consists of an open-ended performance task and two analytical writing assignments.

The point is to assess the core outcomes of critical thinking that appear in the majority of university, college and departmental mission statements. The most salient observations of the report tell us about problems that we will face in the future when college graduates will have to confront a gap between their expectations and their realization.

In regard to this lack of progress, Arum and Roksa assign responsibility to all of the stakeholders in higher education: According to the study, faculty and administrators participate in the problem.

The authors note that the largest growth in university hiring has been in non- faculty support professionals. Students are less interested in acquiring specific skills and more interested in obtaining the credentials that will ensure them a high paying job in the labor market.

Hence, students strive to obtain a diploma with the least amount of effort possible. Hence, student culture is characterized less by study and rigorous academic work and more by socializing, spring break travel and entertainment than ever before.

The failure of many young people to take advantage of this time develop their skills in critical thinking, complex problem solving and writing, is our failure, too. Education in the United States was supposed to be the great leveler; it was supposed to be a means through which women, African Americans, Latinos, immigrants, and any other underprivileged group could carve out a piece of the American Dream.

This is not however how things have turned out. Disturbingly, the report argues that these inequalities are maintained in higher education. The researchers found that African- American students and other non-English speaking groups that came from poorer schools took courses that were less academically intense and made fewer strides in critical thinking.

Individual learning in higher education is characterized by persistent and or growing inequality. Students that hailed from upper-class families were said to come to their institutions of higher learning with a higher degree of linguistic and cultural competence, which gave them a set of tools and predispositions that are rewarded in college.

Academically Adrift

Students whose parents had college or professional degrees also fared better on the CLS. Arum and Roska note throughout the study that students are spending much more time pursuing social activities, and are avoiding courses with strong reading and writing components. Those students who tend to be more successful are those majoring in science and math who study on average Those who are majoring in education and social work on average study The final chapter is a mandate for reform to a system that is not yet in crisis.

Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa.


In spite of soaring tuition costs, more and more students go to college every year. Almost everyone strives to go, but almost no one asks the fundamental question posed by Academically Adrift: Their extensive research draws on survey responses, transcript data, and, for the first time, the state-of-the-art Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test administered to students in their first semester and then again at the end of their second year.

According to their analysis of more than 2, undergraduates at twenty-four institutions, 45 percent of these students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills—including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing—during their first two years of college.

As troubling as their findings are, Arum and Roksa argue that for many faculty and administrators they will come as no surprise—instead, they are the expected result of a student body distracted by socializing or working and an institutional culture that puts undergraduate learning close to the bottom of the priority list. Academically Adrift holds sobering lessons for students, faculty, administrators, policy makers, and parents—all of whom are implicated in promoting or at least ignoring contemporary campus culture.

Developing Critical Thinking in the University. The disconcerting findings of Arum and Roksa should resonate well beyond the academy.

Higher Education. Social Institutions.

You may purchase this title at these fine bookstores. Outside the USA, see our international sales information. University of Chicago Press: About Contact News Giving to the Press.

Browse by: Subject Series. American Academic Cultures Paul H.

Campus Life Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz. The Diversity Bargain Natasha K.

Authors and Affiliations

Table of Contents. Barbara Schneider, Michigan State University. Today this is no longer the case.Later chapters in the book offer a much finer grained picture including the fact that a substantial proportion of undergraduates are studying and learning. The myth is not that secular people can be tolerant, for often they are.

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Moreover, historical studies provide compelling evidence that many undergraduates have always considered academic learning as a means to an end, rather than the purpose for attending college. Even nuns were sent to the guillotine. Voltaire was convinced that rationalism would rescue Europe from the violence of the Christian past and propel it towards a tolerant future.

The horrible history of Christianity shows that whenever religion grabs temporal power it turns lethal. The researchers focused on the first two years of undergraduate education in which students take a number of their general education courses.

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