Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking

Ken Bain, a professor of history, and an ardent educator who never stops searching for a better way to educate students in how to discover the truth, published a book, ‘What the Best College Teachers Do.’ A key chapter deals with the expectations these best teachers have for their students. On page 85 he focuses on students’ ‘Intellectual Development.’ Bain actually captured this ‘inventory of reasoning’ from Arnold Arons, a physicist at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Critical thinking entails, at a minimum, a series of 10 reasoning and abilities and habits of thought:

The College Board and the August 25th Test: More Fallout

The College Board and the August 25th Test: More Fallout

As made clear in last month’s notes, the College Board administered in August 25th, 2018 a test that had previously been administered in China and Korea in June of 2017. Additionally, this is one of the exams that, apparently, got into the hands of many test taking companies and was intensively studied by students throughout Asia. By most standardized testing controls, if you have one set of students that have previously seen and studied the test, and another that has not, the results are in question, and the test is thrown out, and a new test issued.

Yale's Resurrection of the Sciences

Yale's Resurrection of the Sciences

In 1854 Commodore Mathew Perry arrived in Tokyo Bay and began negotiating the opening of Japan to the World. This ended of the Edo period and the downfall of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the beginning of the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Japan, a xenophobic and proud nation, was not willing to be sectioned off into occupied zones, subject to the whims of European, or at the time, second rate powers like the United States. So, it set into motion a massive plan to reform all portions of its civilization with the intent of becoming a world power in as short order as possible.  

College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara

College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara

Over 50 years ago UC Santa Barbara created its own wave of sorts. It took a former cramped Marine barracks located next to its library and turned it into the College of Creative Studies (CCS). Placed under the guidance of Marvin Mudrick, a professor of the English Department, and a prodigy having begun his college career at 15, CCS flourished and became an institution for undergraduate independent studies, beyond what many honors programs might offer. 

UC Admissions Trends and Applications

UC Admissions Trends and Applications

The flood of applications into the UC System continued unabated for the fall of 2018. 

More than 200,000 students applied for undergraduate admissions. This means the number of applicants increased an average of 5.7% across the 9-schools that incorporate the undergraduate UC System. You can see a campus by campus comparison of freshman applicant composition at the UCOP (UC Office of the President) website. https://www.ucop.edu/institutional-research-academic-planning/_files/factsheets/2018/fall-2018-applications-table2.2.pdf 

Applying Early To The Most Selective Schools

Applying Early To The Most Selective Schools

The competition for admissions, including early admissions, among the most selective colleges continues to be ever more competitive. While this fact is not particularly newsworthy, some of the facts behind it are.

Foremost,  the number of seats available in selective schools are declining.. Looking at the Ivy League schools along with Stanford and MIT, the total admits for fall 2009 was 28,600. For fall 2018 the total number admitted was 25,360, a decline of 11% over the decade.