So, Students Don't Learn -- Now What?

Allie Grasgreen, Inside Higher Ed, Jan 19, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It's a classic logical error to say that because students are not learning X, they are not learning anything, but that's what's happening here as a report criticizing higher education asserts students are not learning " critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing" and concludes that students are not really learning anything once they get there. My own experience is atypical, of course, because not only did I study philosophy, which specializes in complex reasoning, I also spend most of my undergraduate years at the student newspaper office, where I learned critical thinking and writing. I can believe that most students do not improve measurably in critical thinking, writing and complex reasoning. But I'm pretty sure that's not what most students at university were studying. See also Donald Clark.
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