Don’t Follow Your Passion, advises Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams. Try things and get passionate about what works. He’s got a new book out, How To Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.
Community colleges are finding ways to engage students and raise their odds of success, a new study finds. One college warns students they must show up for class or be kicked out.
In Tennessee, volunteer “success coaches” help first-generation students fill out college forms, apply for financial aid and navigate the system.
Every year states hand out $11 billion in college aid — usually without tracking whether students earn a degree. That’s changing. Some states are linking financial aid to students’ academic progress.
To really improve college access and success, double or triple the average Pell Grant, recommends financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz.
In reading about Mt. Everest, Ric00chet encounted a quotation from nick Heil’s Dark Summit.
Ultimately, no greater responsibility exists than that which falls on each individual climber – whether he or she is an expedition leader, guide, Sherpa, or paying client. Too much has been written, said, filmed, and photographed for anyone going to Mount Everest not to be fully aware of the risks of climbing to 29,035 feet. Only a fool would put complete faith in someone else to guarantee their safety, or bail them out of trouble if a problem arises, though certainly the mountain continues to attract its share of fools.
Education is like that too, she writes.
I tell my students it is their education and they are responsible – I have learned as much from horrid teachers as good ones – sometimes more because I had to work a lot harder to pull the information out of the stratosphere. If you are an active learner you will learn. If you are waiting for someone to deliver it to you, make it “relevant”, make it fun – you will be left behind.
In an earlier post, Ricochet remembers sage advice: At work, at home or at school, be where you are. Many of her students are present physically, but not mentally.
They talk, sleep, text, do homework for other classes, read novels. I believe that you learn math by doing math. I do math. They are not there. They take a test and bomb it. Somehow it is up to me to come up with something to fix it. They were in class when I taught the material. They were in class when I asked them to do work. They were in class when I reviewed the material for a study guide I created by going over what was taught. (remember doing that?) They were in class when I asked if there were any questions.
“Eighty percent of success is showing up,” Woody Allen once said. Mind and body.
Does confidence really breed success? “What’s really become prevalent over the last two decades is the idea that being highly self-confident – loving yourself, believing in yourself – is the key to success,” says psychologist Jean Twenge. ”Now the interesting thing about that belief is it’s widely held, it’s very deeply held, and it’s also untrue.”
About nine million young people have filled out the American Freshman Survey, since it began in 1966.
It asks students to rate how they measure up to their peers in a number of basic skills areas – and over the past four decades, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of students who describe themselves as being “above average” for academic ability, drive to achieve, mathematical ability and self-confidence.
More students say they’re gifted in writing ability, yet test scores show writing ability has gone down since the 1960s, says Twenge.
And while in the late 1980s, almost half of students said they studied for six or more hours a week, the figure was little over a third by 2009 – a fact that sits rather oddly, given there has been a rise in students’ self-proclaimed drive to succeed during the same period.
Self-esteem doesn’t lead to success, says Roy Baumeister, a Florida State professor who’s studied the topic for years. ”Self-control is much more powerful and well-supported as a cause of personal success,” he says.
In one study, university students who’d earned C, D and F grades “received encouragement aimed at boosting their self-worth.” They did worse than students with similar grades whose self-esteem had been left alone. ”An intervention that encourages [students] to feel good about themselves, regardless of work, may remove the reason to work hard,” writes Baumeister.
Schools Are Ruining Our Kids, writes A.A. Gill in Vanity Fair. Gill has raised one set of children and has a second set just starting school.
In the 100 years since we really got serious about education as a universally good idea, we’ve managed to take the 15 years of children’s lives that should be the most carefree, inquisitive, and memorable and fill them with a motley collection of stress and a neurotic fear of failure. Education is a dress-up box of good intentions, swivel-eyed utopianism, cruel competition, guilt, snobbery, wish fulfillment, special pleading, government intervention, bureaucracy, and social engineering.
Gill blames “the byzantine demands of the education-industrial complex,” but it’s really competitive parents who demand preschool put their kiddies on track for the Ivy League.
Over-achieving Hillary Clinton smugly told us that it took a village to bring up a child. Oh my God. If only. If all it took were some happy, thatched, smocked village, we’d all have bought villages, have bought 10 villages—we’d have adopted a village. But no dusty, higgledy-piggledy, clucking, mooing, sleepy-town hamlet is going to get you into the only pre-school that is the feeder for that other school that is the fast track to the only school that is going to give your child half a chance of getting into that university that will lead to a life worth living.
Oh no, we need far more than the village. We need au pairs who speak three languages and musical nannies and special tutors and counselors and professional athletes with knee problems to coach hand-eye coordination.
Outside of the wealthier parts of Manhattan, how many parents can afford to buy villages worth of nannies, tutors, coaches and counselors? Are parents really so obsessed with their children’s “success” that they forget about happiness?
“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that,” said President Obama at a campaign stop in Virginia. “Somebody else made that happen.”
Young people think they’ll be the authors of their own success, according to the Horatio Alger Association’s 2012-2013 State of Our Nation’s Youth survey: 96 percent of high school students and graduates agree that their own actions, rather than luck, shape their ability to succeed. Most expect to work in the private sector and/or be self-employed.
Those surveyed, ages 14 to 23, were not much interested in presidential politics. Only 57 percent of high school students said they cared who wins the election, down from 75 percent in 2008. Graduates and students were much more concerned about the economy and jobs compared to 2008. That’s not surprising: 39 percent of high school students and 28 percent of graduates not in college can’t find work.
48 percent of high school students get news online. Just 15 percent read printed news.
63 percent of high school students are taking college preparatory classes, but 24 percent of recent grads who took college prep needed remedial education classes to meet college requirements.
37 percent of high school students reported receiving mostly A’s, up from 25 percent in 2008.
97 percent of students aspire to further education after high school, up from 93 percent in 2008.
Despite everything, 60 percent of high school students are hopeful about the country’s future compared to 53 percent in 2008.
“Part of the American dream is that if you work hard, and you get an education and you apply yourself, you’ll be successful,” a Rutgers researcher tells NPR. A third of young college graduates don’t believe this any more.
Remedial education costs community colleges $2 billion a year – and only a quarter of students go on to earn a credential. Colleges know it’s broke, but not how to fix it.
Colorado community colleges have improved success rates for remedial students. Unfortunately, more high school graduates require remediation.
Community colleges are raising very low success rates by connecting first-year students with classmates and faculty, but most students don’t take advantage of available help unless it’s required.