Monday, October 22, 2007

College Degrees for everyone --

Bob Lenz in the San Francisco Chronicle today points out that "No Child Left Behind" looks backward. Instead, we should look forward and rename our efforts "College diploma in every hand" - the article points out that graduating students from high school with at least 8th grade standards does not prepare them for college. Writes Lenz:
Studies show that the lack of self-management, critical thinking and effective communication skills are major reasons why students drop out of college in their first year. Students also don't get far in college without problem-solving and technology skills, as well as the ability to collaborate and be creative. Meaningful college preparation is less about teaching facts than empowering students to think.
Those of us teaching writing - especially first year composition - at state universities know this to be true. Teaching writing is teaching thinking. Even students who arrive with AP credit in English, struggle in an intermediate composition/argumentation class with adequate preparation in thinking deeply.



Blogger Laura said...

Very true. Reminds me of those students who seem to think the only thing an "English" or "Writing" class does is check for formal correctness (either at the sentence or paragraph level or whatever). I've met a few of them over the years. Almost makes me think we ought to re-title our courses to something like, "Thinking/Writing 121". At least here at OSU (and throughout Oregon?) there are such things as "Writing" classes. In most (?) other schools, it's all under "English."


6:33 PM  

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