Do university students learn anything? It depends.

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I am usually wary of stories in the U.S. media about education issues—almost always I find distortion and oversimplification.

This piece by the Associated Press is no exception, but it caught my eye, particularly these two findings from the report it cites:

_Students who studied alone, read and wrote more, attended more selective schools and majored in traditional arts and sciences majors posted greater learning gains.

_Social engagement generally does not help student performance. Students who spent more time studying with peers showed diminishing growth and students who spent more time in the Greek system [fraternities and sororities] had decreased rates of learning, while activities such as working off campus, participating in campus clubs and volunteering did not impact learning.

To which I guess one can only reply, Really? No kidding?

Chalk up another one to common sense, and write it on the wall next to your desk: If I study more, read more, write more, go to a better school, study real subjects, and don’t go out drinking every weekend, I’ll do better in school and learn more.

Might even work in high school . . . but we would need another scientific study to know for sure, eh?

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