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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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  • Apr 9 2013: Have interesting teachers who can engage the students. I am in school right now and I have changed my major several times because I did not like how I was feeling about school. I found myself in an anatomy class and it was there that I found my desire to learn. My professor was engaging, modern, smart, funny, and he didn't read from powerpoints. He was passionate about what he taught and it showed. If we had more professors like that then students may begin to care about learning again. However, college is a means to an end, and most students are not going to school to learn about something that they care about..they are going to school for something that is relatively uninteresting to them in order to get a job. A lot of the interesting degree choices yield very few prospects for jobs though.
    • Apr 9 2013: I also am a college student and I'm in love with learning. As far as my colleagues are concerned I see they miss the big picture of learning. Parents and culture are also stressing financial security over following passion and learning as far as I see it. But above all these I find Galileo's quote absolutely relevant to this subject: "We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves." Once a student discovers the joy of learning in himself no matter how old-school the teacher is, he will learn from him whatever he has to share in terms of passion and knowledge. It will have a healthy disregard for the formal education system in order to make learning a particular subject worthwhile. Of all the teachers I had, the only ones I clearly remember are the ones that made me discover something within myself, that I continued following to this day.

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