June 19, 2011

Majoring in a Foreign Language Correlated with Greater Critical Thinking and Analytical Reasoning Skills

From http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/06/16/connor_essay_on_why_majors_matter_in_how_much_college_students_learn

Do Majors Matter?
By W. Robert Connor
June 16, 2011

Kalamazoo College in Michigan had been using the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) to track its students’ progress in critical thinking and analytical reasoning.

A few years ago, Paul Sotherland, a biologist at Kalamazoo, and his associates tabulated their CLA results for each of the five divisions of the college’s curriculum -- fine arts, modern and classical languages and literatures, humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences.

They found significant differences among the divisions, with the largest gains (over 200 points) in foreign languages, about half that much in the social sciences, still less in the fine arts and in the humanities, least of all in the natural sciences.

Read the full article at http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/06/16/connor_essay_on_why_majors_matter_in_how_much_college_students_learn

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