In “Richard Arum: US undergraduate education is declining and failing” (News, 11 July), Arum, dean of the University of California, Irvine’s School of Education, “blamed falling levels of independent study by students on institutions, stating that they are failing to enthuse students to study or inspire them to prepare for lectures and seminars”.
I would like Arum to tell the rest of us how to “enthuse and inspire” students to study and prepare.
As far as I can tell, students have not changed that much in decades – the big change took place in the early 1970s, as research shows. And I doubt that professors were all that much better back in 1960.
It is not all about grade inflation, either. In the big class that I teach, with a median grade of C+, attendance is between about 70 per cent and 75 per cent, on average. A lot of the students just do not care, and never will. They get flushed out, in my case, with Ds and Fs. And I know that I am hardly unique.
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