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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 19 2013: Great questions!

    As a student, since my first year i discovered something. Acing exams was impossible UNLESS i start to LEARN and UNDERSTAND. The highschool type of studying was not working anymore, I had many chapters to study in a week or so. So I started to look for other ways to gain this knowledge. And here i became engaged in education and it stopped being a matter of acing the exam. When I LIVED what I am learning, seriously things started to be much easier.

    But it was not all me, it was my biology 101 professor who ignited that in us with his excellent way of conveying science. Almost all professors are highly intellectual, smart people, however, few the ones who are good at teaching.

    So as an answer to your question i would suggest:
    - Make exams and assignments impossible for those who just cram to pass and make it easy for those who are familiar with the material. This can happen by including analysis questions, general understanding questions from documentaries and movies... etc.
    - Find professors who are good at teaching, and not only with great researches and achievements.
    - Make students feel that their knowledge is useful. Allow internships, organize fairs....etc. And create a culture in the university that values any effort the student makes towards their understanding of their courses.

    Thank you

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