Why did students stop caring about what they learn in College? 9 replies

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belthagor

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11th June 2013

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#1 2 years ago

I've noticed during my studies, that a lot of the stuff they teach you is kind of useless in the real world, and your professional life. For a while I have assumed students don't care about what they learn because of subsidized loans, but I think there's more to it.

Discuss.




unic0rn

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#2 2 years ago

depends. it's hard to imagine math being useless, for example.

but i've heard, far more than a decade ago, that students in the US have trouble with math problems i've had in elementary school, so there's that. education system here went terribly downhill as well, but it was dumbed down in the US back then already, so i don't think it got any better.

overall, i don't think it's a valid question. some students care, some don't give a damn. regardless of your career choice, there's only one way to be good at it: self education. that's especially true when it comes to anything even remotely related to technology, because it's moving ahead so fast there's no way that schools, public or private, can follow. well, with some exceptions like MIT perhaps - but even there, if you won't do your own research, you'll end up being an average student at best.




GateCrusher420 VIP Member

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17th February 2007

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#3 2 years ago

It bothers the absolute hell out of me when I take a class it they teach nothing but garbage, or I get a class with a teacher that doesn't understand or have any experience with the material they're trying to teach.  That's one of the biggest reasons I stopped caring about my classes at the community college I was at.  I was in the networking technology program.  One of the professors in said program only has teaching experience when it comes to electronics and networking.  I'm sorry, but in my opinion you should have work experience in a program like that.  Ended up dropping out of that program and going back to business administration.  I keep tossing the idea around of saving up for a couple of years and then going to a 4-year and going straight for my Bachelors in Business Admin, where I know the professors have both school and work experience.  




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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26th May 2003

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#4 2 years ago

It's a game, has been since you were young, and if you take a game that goes on for years too seriously it'll fuck you up. I think it's a survival mechanism.




Andron Taps Forum Mod

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#5 2 years ago

"You're not concentrating 'cause it's boring, and that's a natural reaction to boring: don't concentrate." ~Doug Stanhope

:p


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



Superfluous Curmudgeon VIP Member

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22nd December 2007

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#6 2 years ago

There's a lot of wasted time when it comes to college courses. When I was a freshman/sophomore I was an extremely dedicated student. The novelty of it all kept me from finding things to complain about. But there's so much wasted time and energy that goes into the courses. I don't learn so well through lectures, so if the material was hard, I ended up daydreaming or just frantically jotting down lecture notes never to look at them again. Didn't learn much in the lecture, so I had to resort to the books, Internet, and other people to learn the material. If the material is easy enough to learn in class, I can usually learn it just as quickly but more effectively by reading the text. Sometimes and for some types of information there will be important tidbits that will be missed without a lecture, like professor's personal experience, and things that "everyone knows" but not you because you've never dealt with that type of material before. Most professors aren't so great at teaching. And a lot of the time, they don't even know what to teach. A 30 minute derivation is much better laid out in a textbook or online article than through sloppy handwriting on a whiteboard where you're left asking your classmates afterwards if that was a v or a u or a mu that was written down.

Traditional classes are pretty helpful for very new/introductory material, as the student often has no idea even where to start. But when you consider the alternatives, the traditional style class can be a pretty inefficient way to learn. Ultimately if the student dedicates a lot of time, he/she will have learned the material...

And this is my opinion on classes that cover material that will more than likely be used, or that someone should definitely be familiar with when going out to the workplace. When there is a perception that the material being taught is more a rite of passage than useful information, the correct response is not caring about it very much. Dedicated students will try their best to get the most out of it, and they will get some things out of it, but for most students if there's no good reason to be learning the material in the class, there's no good reason to put effort into learning that material.

People talk about education going downhill in recent years a lot. I think it comes down to being distracted and not seeing the connection between the "education" and reality.




Nittany Tiger Forum Mod

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#7 2 years ago

I loved all of that math and stuff, but it's done jack shit to help me get a job.  Employers are too hung up on experience and business and profit and control to ever care if you can do derivatives or know the laws of thermodynamics, and it's a shame.

Ever since graduation and getting sick, I've lost a lot of interest in academics.  I still love learning and enjoy what I learned in college, but it's become a "Why bother?" situation where I don't feel that publishing any science or learning more will change my life in any meaningful way beyond knowing just a little more than most people.  It may also be due to depression, but it's hard to say.

There are times I feel going to grad school was a fatal liability in my hopeful meteorology career since not one gives a shit that I have a master's degree and won't hire me with all of my disabilities now.




Aeia

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#8 2 years ago

Anything they teach you before specialized courses is aimed at making you a smarter person, not increase your chances of getting a job. It will help you understand where the world stands and what it is up to. All that headache-inducing introduction to special relativity will help you grasp some of the context of modern physics and what they are trying to do. The introductions of Haber process and Batch process give you an idea of how they prepare stuff in huge chemical plants.

Without this foundation knowledge, it would be impossible to keep the scientific development going on. These introductory courses not only prepare a whole mass of recruits for high-end tech programs (where people get to do something, finally!) but enable the general public to make sense of what is going on.

So yes, these programs and the knowledge gained in them is practically fruitless for the student, but it is crucial for the society. A clueless society would never condone the siphoning of billions of $$$ into space programs and dinosaurs and stuff which they don't even know about and know that all this would never have any effect on their lives at all. Why start all the fuss about Higgs Boson and endeavor to solve the mystery of galactic motions when we have major unsolved problems in our own neighborhood. In the absence of these programs, there would suddenly be a huge drift between the brainy and the common lot of the society and scientific progress nosedive.

This is another example where the individual (student) is sacrificed for the community (scientific progress).




Commissar MercZ

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#9 2 years ago

You'll always find people who are not engaged in learning, it's not something unique to universities. There's an added level at this point with people trying to figure out what they're going to do with their lives, and maybe losing enthusiasm when they find that their prospects aren't that great, but otherwise it's always a challenge by professors and other educators to engage their students.




Andron Taps Forum Mod

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#10 2 years ago

Also a matter of letting students experiment with different courses.  Most universities do this with core courses, i.e: "Social Sciences - Pick One: Sociology, Anthropology, or Psychology."

Which is fine, the only problem is they are graded on the A-F scale whereas places like MIT simply do Pass - Fail scale.  If you pass you pass but if you fail it's not a mark against your record.


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.