The LSU Top 5 #33
This is the 33rd of our weekly links to the top 5 bits and pieces we’ve found from around the internet.
(Linking doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with these articles!)
College & Critical Thinking – The Creativity Post
This article might be better titled “Why can’t students think?” In it, the author, a philosopher, argues that our biggest teachers of critical thinking are worse than useless.
For most students, their first exposure to a substantial course or even coverage of critical thinking occurs in college. It seems unlikely that students who have gone almost two decades without proper training in critical thinking will be significantly altered by college. One obvious solution, taken from Aristotle, is to begin proper training in critical thinking at an early age.
However, given that the models of thinking we have before university are politics, popular entertainment, advertising and mediocre everyday life, he concludes:
Given these anti-critical thinking influences, it is something of a wonder that students develop any critical thinking skills.
In this TED talk, clinical psychologist Meg Jay argues that those in their 20s should stop waiting for life to start and get out there to happen.
This is a powerful message for the students that many of us teach.
How to Get Better Feedback from Students – Faculty Focus
In end-of-course surveys, students too often don’t respond, give quick comments without much thought, or don’t provide constructive suggestions. There are ways to change this situation, starting with asking good questions, asking for feedback right after an assignment in the course, teaching students to give constructive comments, and showing students that you really do take their feedback seriously.
No English, No Career? – The American Scholar
This article looks at the barriers to an academic life for people who have English as a second language – and it isn’t just a difficulty in understanding what others are saying or writing:
“Writing is a nightmare,” agrees M. “Not getting the words out, but polishing to make it cool. I think it is not a coincidence that my favorite section is Methods—no room for creativity!”
Unauthorised degree programmes continue to be offered in Vietnam, with small fines proving an insufficient deterrent. Perhaps the group most at risk are students, who in the past have had their unauthorised programmes stopped despite having already payed and spent time studying.
We love hearing your thoughts on these articles, so feel free to comment below!