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Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More


reviewed by Sam J. Fugazzotto June 04, 2008

coverTitle: Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More
Author(s): Derek Bok
Publisher: Princeton University Press, Princeton
ISBN: 0691125961, Pages: 413, Year: 2006
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Derek Bok’s Our Underachieving Colleges sets out decisively against the more drastic critiques of higher education, such as those that cast political correctness as the root of everything wrong with colleges today or those that blame faculty research for causing neglect of student needs. Bok’s effective use of data produces a nuanced view of higher education. On the one hand, student learning does improve during college, and most undergraduates and alumni report satisfaction with their college experience. On the other hand, colleges still have much room for improvement. A historical summary of American higher education in Chapter 1 shows how colleges and universities have arrived at their present-day purposes. Prior to the Civil War, college instructors taught a prescribed curriculum oriented toward religion and the classics. As the nineteenth century wore on, older models of a college education gave way not only to secular land-grant universities and growing enrollments but also... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: June 04, 2008
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15265, Date Accessed: 12/17/2017 3:16:12 AM

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About the Author
  • Sam Fugazzotto
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    SAM J. FUGAZZOTTO is Associate Registrar at Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds an M.S.Ed. from Northwestern University, and his interests include leadership and strategy issues in higher education.
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