Thursday, July 8, 2010

Studying on the decline

It’s not exactly news that studying is on the decline. But still:

According to time-use surveys analyzed by professors Philip Babcock, at the University of California Santa Barbara, and Mindy Marks, at the University of California Riverside, the average student at a four-year college in 1961 studied about 24 hours a week. Today’s average student hits the books for just 14 hours.

The decline, Babcock and Marks found, infects students of all demographics. No matter the student’s major, gender, or race, no matter the size of the school or the quality of the SAT scores of the people enrolled there, the results are the same: Students of all ability levels are studying less.
The greatest decline: between 1961 and 1981, from 24.4 to 16.8 hours a week.¹ As to why: Murray Sperber, quoted in this article, seems to me to hit the mark. See what you think:

What happened to studying? (Boston Globe, via Arts & Letters Daily)

¹ Jeez, I spent way too much time studying in college.

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