Academically Adrift analyzes the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) – a direct (albeit general/“generic”) assessment of critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing – as well as other assessment tools to report that four-year college students are not learning very much, especially during their first two years. Academic degrees may not always be that academic. (The Read . . . #24)

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See “The Read . . . #23” for a video re: the book’s findings. Find excerpts from the video/book in “The Read . . . #25.” Click on the following links for reviews/criticism of Academically Adrift.
http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/academically-adrift-a-must-read/28423

http://imerrill.umd.edu/facultyvoice1/2011/02/28/review-is-academically-adrift-adrift/

One can certainly locate Academically Adrift within a long line of similar studies that bemoan the loss of academic rigor in American education, but one cannot easily dismiss the study as yet another rightwing piece in a (policy) narrative that seeks to commodify education: Academically Adrift slants to the political Left. Besides, some readers remember the release of A Nation at Risk (1982) – and the “culture wars” that gave us Closing of the American Mind by A. Bloom and The Western Canon by H. Bloom – so they know at a glance that Academically Adrift does not fit that narrative.

Many educators now entertain the notion that the loss of academic rigor in American education has been ongoing for at least a few decades: arguably, that decline is manifest in Realist’s writing. Consider the sample CLA performance task/snapshots below and the links in https://haroldlounge.com/2013/06/01/pop-jingo-framing-the-stakeholders-goals-and-problems-related-to-reinvention-so-broadly-allows-realist-to-recast-reinvention-as-a-colonization-effort-a-corporate-takeover-and-even-a-civil-war/.

Correction re: “The Read . . . #23”: The video is titled “Learning During Unsettled Times” and presents a talk by one of the authors of Academically Adrift.
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2 thoughts on “Academically Adrift analyzes the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) – a direct (albeit general/“generic”) assessment of critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing – as well as other assessment tools to report that four-year college students are not learning very much, especially during their first two years. Academic degrees may not always be that academic. (The Read . . . #24)

  1. 12Keystrokes,

    Could you explain what exactly has motivated this seven or eight month quest to criticize The Realist? I know that The Realist rubs a lot of people the wrong way. But to find that The Realist has motivated such a long series of frankly baffling posts that seek to do nothing other than criticize The Realist is shocking. The Realist is obviously a caricature created by one of our faculty members. He or she can often be illogical or annoying, but has served as a more frequent stimulator of productive conversation that this series you’re running.

    My impression is that you think the form of criticism you’re engaging in is somehow intelligent and passes as constructive. But frankly, these posts have been among the most dimly lit rooms I have encountered in academic prose. I have never found such a clear cut example of the term “pedantry.”

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