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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 18 2013: I've found the first thing that is necessary is getting them to actually read -- all too often I assign a book and hear f"But I've never read a book all the way through since junior high (and some didn't even read then). Unfortunately, there are way too many distractions and alternate activities. If you can get them to read, you can generally find some area of interest that grabs them and move on from there. I'm lucky in that my "students" are court referred and their probation officers back me up all the way. I frequently have more actual learners in my group than my daughters who teach graduate school have in theirs. Certainly more than in the general population. Keep at it, we've way too many uneducated people running around with college degrees -- I did a lot of homeschooling with my kids because of the huge disparity between schooling and education.
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      Mar 19 2013: I did lots of homeschooling as well, which has the plus of making education/learning more connected and immersive for kids. And I have found that it leads into learning as a way of life.

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