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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 10 2013: We must first alter our typical education program in the grade levels. Curiosity is squandered by today's formal education, all schools look for are results, so who cares about the arts and broadening ideas in science or research, if the standardized test scores aren't up to par the school isn't successful. How can we hope for us college students to have a drive for curiosity and research when we're being taught that all we need to focus on is getting the grade and that we need to learn how to crunch numbers and fill in bubbles. We're being brought up to live a corporate lifestyle in which everything is standard. you answer phones fill out paper work, and go home. Colleges offer so much for us students but we follow such a common path of schooling that we take whats required we don't expand our horizons because we're taught not too. I'm in college now, I'm in my third year at a community college, now many people will tell me that i must be doing poorly because i should have transferred out by now and that i'm behind, but I'm one of the few who got through the sieve, I look through the courses offered and take just about anything that interests me on top of what is required for my degree. Yes it will take me a bit longer to get my degree, and yes some say its a waste of money, but to me its the ability to become more well rounded and to actually learn new things that are out there. I'm pursuing a degree to be a Elementary and Special Education teacher, but in the mean time I'm taking other things that interest me and as working with kids already i feel like learning and being curious with my own studies will only help me become a better teacher, and hopefully when it comes my time to guide a class of young curious minds, I will be able to help them pursue and strengthen their own curiosity. to encourage today's college students to learn rather than just rush for a degree we need to change their early education and stop ruining our drive and love of pursuing knowledge

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