What students learn in high school doesn't match with what they need to know as college freshmen, according to a national study released yesterday.
Professors believe high school teachers should cover fewer topics with more depth to prepare students for college. That is one of the findings of the survey by ACT, a nonprofit educational and testing organization.
But aren't college professors looking for creative students? Apparently, not.
“A really common complaint from (college) faculty is students not being able to put together a complete sentence properly,” said Erin Goldin, director of the Writing Center, which provides tutoring at Cal State San Marcos.
“When students come in here, . . . I try to explain the rules, but they don't seem to have learned the structure of a sentence.”
In writing, college instructors place more emphasis on the fundamentals – basic grammar, sentence structure and punctuation – than their high school counterparts.
Both groups agree on the critical reading skills needed to enter college. However, the survey found a general lack of reading instruction in high school. More attention to reading complex texts is needed, according to the study, not just in English and social studies, but also in math and science.
No, they just want them to be able to write a coherent sentence--something they can't do.
What about math and science? Don't college professors want students who can think outside the box and who have higher order thinking skills? Er, no.
High school teachers valued exposure to advanced math content to a greater degree than college faculty, who placed more emphasis on understanding the fundamental underlying math skills and processes.
High school teachers rated knowledge of science content as more important than understanding the science process and inquiry skills. College faculty valued the reverse.
Well, at least they agreed on a few things.
The ACT survey, which was completed by 6,568 middle and high school teachers and college faculty nationwide, showed disagreements in virtually every college-preparatory subject.