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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Critical Thinking of American University Students

When it Comes to Academic Quality, Europeans Show the Way

David Dill | September 15, 2015

There is a growing concern about the cost, quality and value of higher education.
Despite the increasing cost of an academic degree, recent studies show substantial percentages of students, even in the most selective US colleges and universities, have failed to demonstrate significant improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills over the four years of college.

<more at; related links: (Where A Is Ordinary: The Evolution of American College and University Grading, 1940–2009. Stuart Rojstaczer and Christopher Healy. Teachers College Record Volume 114 Number 7, 2012, p. 1-23 [Background/Context: College grades can influence a student’s graduation prospects, academic motivation, postgraduate job choice, professional and graduate school selection, and access to loans and scholarships. Despite the importance of grades, national trends in grading practices have not been examined in over a decade, and there has been a limited effort to examine the historical evolution of college grading.]) and (The  Falling Time Cost of College: Evidence from Half a Century of Time Use Data. Philip Babcock and Mindy Marks. Review of Economics and Statistics. May 2011, Vol. 93, No. 2, Pages 468-478. [AbstractUsing multiple data sets from different time periods, we document declines in academic time investment by full-time college students in the United States between 1961 and 2003. Full-time students allocated 40 hours per week toward class and studying in 1961, whereas by 2003, they were investing about 27 hours per week. Declines were extremely broad based and are not easily accounted for by framing effects, work or major choices, or compositional changes in students or schools. We conclude that there have been substantial changes over time in the quantity or manner of human capital production on college campuses.])>

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