Wednesday, June 11, 2014

On the Love of Learning?

I love math and all things related. I find articles discussing applications of math in science, economics, medicine, you name it, interesting. I love reading about famous mathematicians and scientists and the breakthroughs they have made. I love math jokes. I pretty much love all things related to math, science and technology. I also love my wife, teaching, biking, food, photography, philosophy, reading, computers...and lots of other stuff. What I mean by "love" is that I always find exploring new ideas interesting, I always want to do and learn more, not just while I am at school "working", but all the time. Honestly, I don't really differentiate between "work" and "non-work", it is all one big continuum. It is impossible to just turn off one and turn on the other...they merge together for me.

However, I can count on one hand the number of students who I have run across in the last seven years of teaching who truly "love" learning. I get the impression that many just want to succeed in school, they want to get good grades, they want to get into a good college, they want to make their parents happy...but seldom do they want to be at school to truly learn. There are exceptions, but most want to get out of school as quickly as possible (on a given day, at the end of the year, when they finally graduate). They are always looking for the next best thing...other than school. There are not many who truly seem to "love learning".

I am always looking for ways to make headway in unraveling this dilemma. Is it possible for the mass of high school students to truly love learning or is it a point of view that develops with a fine wine?

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