[Milton-L] OT: The Importance of the Liberal Arts

Kathy Kramer kknospam at tpg.com.au
Tue Jan 18 16:54:52 EST 2011

Hmm, correlation does not imply causation.

Do the brighter students who thrive on challenges choose the more difficult 
courses and thereby further mature their cognitive abilities while the less 
able students don't challenge themselves and don't improve? I can't see the 
proof that putting the latter into a challenging course will have the 
desired effect.

Kathy Kramer

-----Original Message----- 
From: James Rovira
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 8:36 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: [Milton-L] OT: The Importance of the Liberal Arts

[apologies for cross-posting]

The importance of our general ed. curriculum to our students' future 

"Students who majored in the traditional liberal arts - including the
social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and mathematics - showed
significantly greater gains over time than other students in critical
thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills.

Students majoring in business, education, social work and
communications showed the least gains in learning. However, the
authors note that their findings don't preclude the possibility that
such students "are developing subject-specific or occupationally
relevant skills.

The study's authors also found that large numbers of students didn't
enroll in courses requiring substantial work. In a typical semester, a
third of students took no courses with more than 40 pages of reading
per week. Half didn't take a single course in which they wrote more
than 20 pages over the semester.

Greater gains in liberal arts subjects are at least partly the result
of faculty requiring higher levels of reading and writing, as well as
students spending more time studying, the study's authors found.
Students who took courses heavy on both reading (more than 40 pages a
week) and writing (more than 20 pages in a semester) showed higher
rates of learning."


Jim Rovira

Dr. James Rovira
Program Chair of Humanities
Assistant Professor of English
Tiffin University
155 Miami Street
Tiffin, OH 44883
(419) 448-3586
roviraj at tiffin.edu
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