New Chronicle Article Discusses Work by Prof. Roksa on Undergraduate Majors


06/03/2016

The Chronicle

The Chronicle discusses new work by Josipa Roksan on what a major should teach.

What Should a Major Teach? ‘Adrift’ Authors Offer Answers

A new book from the authors of Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses seeks to answer one of the main critiques of that widely read 2011 study.

One knock on that book, by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, is that they relied largely on scores from a standardized test to support their conclusions that many students don’t learn much during college. The test they used, the Collegiate Learning Assessment, or CLA, measures critical thinking as a generalized trait, one that’s not attached to a specific discipline.

But is it fair, critics asked, to test students on a generalized skill when the most substantive learning they do takes place in a discipline? Shouldn’t we be paying attention to what students are learning in their majors?