There was a time when education was a privilege. Back then everybody did not have access to education and the ones that did took full advantage of it. Education gave people hope of having a better future. It gave people a title and prestige. But today in America everyone is entitled to an education until they reach the age of 18 and college seems more like a commodity then a privilege. Although a college education is useful its value seems to have decreased. I think overall student’s ambition and aspiration for higher education has declined over the years. But there are other factors that contribute to why undergraduate learning is so poor today.
I think the quality of undergraduate learning depends on the way professors teach and the students experience. When I went to BMCC my experience was really different than Queens College. I really enjoyed learning and did really well in all my classes in BMCC. Almost every class I took the professors was really engaging and seemed to be talking to the students rather than lecturing. The classroom sizes were small and in some classes such as biology and education all the students knew each other. I remember for some of the classes I didn’t have to read the textbook just pay attention in class and I did so well in the exams. But when I came to Queens College my GPA dropped. I am I psychology major and I remember all my classes in my first semester were in lecture halls. So the class sizes were really big and everybody seemed so distant. The professors usually stay in one area in the front of the class and lectured away. Professors barely engaged the student into the lecture. Although some professors used power point slides I found it to be very boring and I was better off not coming to class and just going to the library and reading the book. My second semester of psychology classes was the first time I read a textbook cover to cover. But in class the reading was never put to use through discussions or other activities. Although reading is part of obtaining knowledge I don’t think students retain information if they don’t actively use what they have read or put it into practice. And this is the main reason I think students do not learn much in college. It’s like learning a new language but never speaking it. You’ll forget it faster than learned it.
Another factor that contributes to poor education in today’s society is prioritizing. The authors mention that ”the average students spent only 12-13 hours studying per week which is about half the time a full time college student spent studying in 1960” I found it interesting that the authors brought this point up, because the average students life in the 1960’s is very different than the average student today. The average student in the 1960’s not only had a higher passion for learning but they also had more time on their hands to study. Today the average students are easily distracting with technology. Many students spend so much time on their phone, facebook, playing x-box360 and many other activities. Also more students work now than ever before. Students are going to school, working, maintaining a social life and taking care of other personal needs. I think that in the 1960’s there was a higher emphasize on education than there is today. Education was their first priority and there wasn’t all this advanced technology distracting them. I think today students prioritize there life based on what they enjoy rather than focus on education.