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How can education motivate students to be exceptional? And what is the role of the university to challenge them in a faster changing world?

Society is changing at a rapid pace. There are new profession and disciplines, knowledge and functions have become 'liquid'.How can a student in this complex world excel.

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    Jun 4 2013: Hi Odiel, its a complex world and there is a pressure to excel and be exceptional.

    What is your take on the following thought?

    In search of excellece you may loose ordinary.
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    Jun 3 2013: The standard university format is obsolete, in that degrees take way to long, education ends at graduation and have limited range in professions.

    Replace the slow and costly system currently used and have a blend of classroom, lab, and interactive online classes instead.

    Focus on what business want, instead of what prospective students think they want. If a grad is skilled in communication, management and leadership and company will hire and teach any unique skills needed for the job.

    Similar a doctor’s board certification, Universities could have Maintenance of Certification classes for other profession and add new certification and new processions develop. So someone can graduate Saxion University with a degree in management and certification in civil engineering, then years later change profession and come back (or go online) and get certification in gaming or robotic mining.
    • Jun 3 2013: Hi, Don.
      I have been interested in robotic mining for some time during the past several years. I believe that the casualty due to the mining accidents which occurred during the past few years are avoidable if we speed up the research on the use of robotic mining mentioned in your last sentence in your post.
      Personally I believe that use of robots in underground mining is quite possible. We only need a few supervisors staying just outside of the entrance of the underground mining field and keep a close watch to the whole operation by the robots only, and sending in any necessary materials or support when needed. The communication and video transmission can be made through cables buried under or by the rails from the entrance to the mining fields.This seems to be worthwhile project to save workers' health and life. The operation of the robots can be trained first by remote control by the supervisors, then the robots will try to "learn"all the steps involved. once the robots learned it, then they should be observed and commanded, just like human workers.
      Have you already done research on this?
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        Jun 4 2013: I have not done any research, but do see it as the first step in creating moon and mars bases. Basically start with robots for underground mining, use the knowledge gain from that and do deep sea mining. Then set up some off-world high speed communication, send mining and construction robots to create human habitats.

        Another plus could be an increase in the work force, via employing disabled and handicap people to control the robots. The more people we can move from needing charity to being self-reliant and give to charity, the better off we are.

        So my interest in this is multifaceted, but not in my field of expertise.
  • Jun 6 2013: Two give my two cents as a current university student, I believe that there are several things that can be done to help a student excel in their learning, the first and one of the most important of which is to help students realize that learning can be fun! Rather than simply memorizing facts and figures in rote form for the simple end goal of achieving a higher grade, only to forget those mundane bits of information once the test is over, learning for the simple enjoyment of it is a value that the global education system doesn't communicate very well. It's like Pat Gilbert posted a few days ago, "being interested instead of interesting."

    So to answer your question as to how can a student excel in this complex world? My answer would say that it begins with the values that we teach children regarding knowledge. Reading a novel isn't meant to be a chore. Math is not simply 1 + 1 = 2. And science is not all cell replication and chemicals. Learning shouldn't be about test results; we need to instill in children that learning is simply fun, especially when you start knowing enough to help the people around you.
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    R H 20+

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    Jun 4 2013: To 'excel' in such a hyper-transitioning world, I believe takes a new 'renaissance' person. A person that can do it all well. How can ed. motivate them? Just appeal to what the student thinks is important and combine that with what the experts know they'll need. The role of the university in this? To provide an arena of 'excellence', with 'exceptional' research and guidance, customized as much as possible to the student.
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    Jun 3 2013: People can be encouraged to challenge themselves to learn not just what is easiest for them but also to undertake learning that requires more of a stretch and more perseverance. In a classroom it means presenting students with challenges that are slightly out of their normal reach. It is this disposition to take on things just out of reach that sets a person on a path to learn in a powerful way.

    I think the focus should be on developing themselves personally rather than aiming to be superior to ones peers.
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      Jun 4 2013: Once again being interested instead of interesting.
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    Jun 3 2013: The question is the answer

    Learn how to learn
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    Jun 7 2013: We could upgrade the teachers with robotic cartoon characters that are really smarter than a teacher. This would allow each student to interact with their own private avatar teacher, in the lower classes. As the student progresses through the grades, we could upgrade their avatar teacher to become an idol they really like, Aristotle, Einstein, Plato, Stormy Daniels.
  • Jun 3 2013: Enabling them to find the thing, or set of things, that makes the best use of their interests, skills, training and knowledge. If there are gaps in what is needed and what is possessed, education creates a pathway to remove the gaps with hard work and dedication. Education also exposes students to different job opportunities where specific skill sets are desired or required to accomplish the work.

    The university needs to provide on-line, interactive support to course work, provide application opportunities, simulations,blogs, collaborative work sites, and direct industry interaction opportunities for students. Universities can do things efficiently due to the existence of large groups of students with similar interests or needs. Universities need to review degree requirments frequently to make sure that they still target the right skill set for jobs in the current workforce.
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    Jun 3 2013: well, I like something Einstein said, that he didn't believe he was smarter than anyone else, it's just when he got interested in a question he'd keep after it til he got an answer, whereas others would give up. How do we make students stubborn, so they keep at a question?

    I think it's also important to foster humility, that all of us have to remember when we explore any topic academically that we may end up learning our initial ideas were wrong. We should always remember we can be wrong. How do we foster humility?