In a recent post, James Hanley expressed frustration over the difficulty cultivating critical-thinking skills in his students:
A recent study found that 45% of college students don’t learn critical thinking skills during their time in college. I admit it. I don’t think I managed to teach any of these students how to think critically. It’s impossible to do so if they skip class regularly and don’t bother with the assigned readings. I’ve even shown students the percentage of “F”s I’ve given in the same class over the prior two years, and it has no effect on student performance. I’m going to spend the next couple of months doing a major revamp of some of my classes. Not just adjusting the syllabus, but radically restructuring how I’m teaching them. What I’m doing isn’t working. Maybe it never has as well as I thought, and I’m just now learning how to really recognize it.