Friday, January 28, 2011

A New Study Suggests . . .

. . . that "it's good to lead a monk's existence." While I am thrilled that statistical evidence has finally been found to validate my lifestyle, I'm more than a little concerned at the data underlying this conclusion. In the relevant study, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa found that 45% of college students are essentially wasting their own time and their parents' money. A study of 2,300 students at all levels of higher education found no improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning, or writing for 45% of undergraduates after two years in college. This can't all be blamed on students, however; over half of those surveyed didn't take a SINGLE course that required 20 or more pages of writing per semester or a SINGLE course that required more than 40 pages of reading a week: professors have lowered their standards.

The good news is that students who enrolled in more demanding classes--and were, essentially, forced by their demanding professors to live like monks--did show significant improvement in these areas. The finding of Arum and Roksa, recently published in Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, is the latest study to document the decline of American higher education, but it's hardly the first; just last year Craig Brandon warned that a university education had become a Five Year Party. Fight back, students! Demand value for your education dollar from administrators! Demand higher reading and writing loads from your professors! Rise up and be monks!

(Or, if you'd prefer to skip all that hassle and become an honorary monk, I'd be happy to provide a certificate; simply send a $5,000 check or money order to The Mormon Monk, c/o Monastery U.)

5 comments:

The Renaissance Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Renaissance Man said...

I spend my days wringing what little value I can out of my high school education and nights wringing the tears of failed attempts out of my hanky. Don't tell me college has gone to the dogs as well? Lead the charge Uncle Z!

your fellow monk,

Publius Sakharov

Jo Jo said...

Very interesting study! Isn't my son funny! Go Z!

The Renaissance Man said...

not a joke mom. not a joke.

Anonymous said...

I never knew whay your blog was called the Mormon Monk- until now!

I liked tyhe article.