The readers’ forum

More teacher-student dialogue can raise graduation rate


In about one week college campuses across the nation will be inundated by thousands of freshmen. According to the American College Testing program about 30 percent of freshmen students drop out of the college by the first year, and only 50 percent will graduate in five years.

These results are discouraging and shatter the dreams of many students, college administrators and parents.

It is a well-established fact that intelligent organisms learn from their past experiences and modify their actions to achieve the desired outcomes. Considering this, students and teachers must adopt a preemptive approach for the upcoming semester and fine tune the strategies to reduce the drop-out rate. The issue of the college drop-out rate has been studied extensively, and the phenomenon has been attributed to several factors that include, but are not limited to, the lack of readiness for the college, poor integration into the college’s academic and social systems, low student-faculty interactions, wrong college choice, inadequate advising and financial difficulties. When designing strategies to improve the graduation rates, all these factors must be taken into account.

Another factor that might help in improving the college-graduation levels is the focus on brain-based learning strategies. Recent studies in the area of cognitive neuroscience have revealed that the education policy of “one size fits all” is faulty. Humans differ greatly in their learning styles. Some students are visual learners, while others are better auditory learners.

Students may differ in their learning styles, but there is at least one characteristic that they share: They learn better through active engagement. In traditional teaching, the arrow of knowledge points from the teacher to the student without any major feedback from the students.

The time has come to abandon this style and make a paradigm shift toward a new teaching style in which the learning process transitions to a dialogue between teachers and students. Such a shift is necessary to empower students to make the most of optimum learning opportunities and to improve the college graduation rates.

Khalique Ahmed, chair, Division of Natural & Applied Sciences, Lynn University, Boca Raton

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

Natalie Altman

    The readers’ forum

    Aging gracefully? No way!

    I want to comment on Ms. Gina Barreca’s July 19 Other Views column on aging. She’s writing from the perspective of a 57-year-old woman; I’m 75. My perspective is living the process:

  • Keep Beckham

    What are mayors of Miami and Miami-Dade doing while Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief is getting a list of possible homes for the Beckham Group’s soccer franchise from all of that county’s 31 cities? After getting the thumbs-down on at least two port and downtown Miami possible venues, it would appear that wise government leaders in Broward are going into full-court press mode to lure the MLS star to make that county his home. It is time for the powers that be in both Miami and Miami-Dade to understand they don’t have a lock on this valuable sports venture. There’s still time left to take the Beckham Group more seriously.

  • Miami Shores vote

    Miami Shores residents Clark Reynolds and Dennis Leyva said in their July 24 letter to the editor that it took courage for Councilwoman Ivonne Ledesma and me to vote for a nonbinding resolution supporting marriage equality in Florida. While I appreciate the compliment, in 2008 when our state approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay folks from marrying, Miami Shores voters said “no” to this nonsense when 62 percent of our voters voted for marriage equality. Mayor Herta Holly, Councilmen Jim McCoy and Hunt Davis are the ones who should be singled out for voting against the interests of our wonderful village.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category