“The correlation between the test of broad, conceptual thinking and GPA was about zero.” — David Epstein, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
Let’s up our game and do ourselves and our students better!!
Longer quote: “Flynn’s great disappointment is the degree to which society, and particularly higher education, has responded to the broadening of the mind by pushing specialization, rather than focusing early training on conceptual, transferable knowledge. Flynn conducted a study which he compared the [GPAs] of seniors at one of America’s top state universities, from neuroscience to English majors, to their performance on a test of critical thinking. The test gauged students’ ability to apply fundamental, abstract concepts…to common, real-world scenarios. Flynn was bemused to find that the correlation between the test of broad, conceptual thinking and GPA was about zero. In Flynn’s words: ‘the traits that earn good grades at the university do not include critical ability of any broad significance.’ “