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Eugene Frier

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How can we best engage college students in the idea of learning instead of just getting a degree?

I work at a 4 year, public university and I see a great deal of students who come to school to get their degree (which they equate to money/success) and do not care about learning. What are your thoughts on the best way to engage them in the actual process of learning. I have my thoughts, but would love to hear my fellow TEDsters thoughts.

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    Mar 13 2013: This isn't just college. Kids in grade school binge information in time to make an A on their test, only to spill it all out later before they get back on Youtube. Learning doesn't matter to them, just that A, 100, 4.0, and 2400.
    • Mar 13 2013: I get that...how do we fix it though?
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        Mar 13 2013: well, everyone's talking about taking a paradigm shift in education, creating a completely new system. A system that nurtures the creative mind, where the pressures of grades don't take such large of a toll, where we are sending the smartest teachers into schools, not these "babysitters". Look at finland's education system, we could definitely model off of that.( http://9gag.com/gag/6698591 ) These ideas have been around for the past 10 or so years. The american government is just ridiculously static and takes an extremely long time to change something this drastic. We know how to change it, it's just a matter of doing it.
        • Mar 13 2013: I more so meant what can we realistically do now as opposed to drastic, long term changes like you mentioned (although those changes would be amazing).
      • Mar 13 2013: I think people are bound to expunge knowledge that they're just not interested in, and there's no helping that. However, if we get students to study what they enjoy, they're gonna be interested in learning and retain the information. The only fix to this is to offer a wider variety of classes. I don't think high school students should be required to take up to Calc or even Trig (and this is coming from a lover of math). If it's a topic they're not interested in, what good will it do them? In the same line, I think more classes with a career parallel should be offered so students can decide what they want to learn before heading to college.

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