What Makes An Expert Essay

897 words - 4 pages

Teri Galligher9/6/2014Honors 101Roundtable/Essay 2What Makes an Expert?In chapter two of his book, What the Best College Students Do, Ken Bain addresses the different types of students' learning styles and their effects on the quality of the students' education. Our educational system emphasizes the need to do well in school, so that you can then do well in life. Many students, however, do not have a clear vision of what it takes to do in well in life outside of an academic setting. For the major part of their life, they have been taught that success is to pass your classes with an A, to win awards, and to accept praise for hard work. Everything up to graduate is black and white-pass or fail. But the real world is much more dynamic and colorful; the world needs creative, inventive people who not only get the right answer when asked, but who know what questions to ask to get the answers they want. Bain ultimately argues that the best college students are driven by eager curiosity and intrinsic rewards, while others attend college merely for the extrinsic payoff. Clearly, Bain idealizes what he calls "deep learners" with unrealistic standards, while he insults the majority if students and their cultures.The motivations and effectiveness of the different proclaimed learning styles varies among the three types of students Bain labels and discusses: "surface learners," "strategic learners," and "deep learners." To define the types of students, Bain reports a study by Göteborg University. Psychologists at Göteborg analyzed the ways in which a group of students read an article. "Surface learners" skimmed through the material quickly, memorizing facts they might need to pass an exam. Other students reported that they read in order to understand what the article said, connecting it to their prior knowledge. These students are "deep learners." They are a class of students who break away from the generation of students with pass-or-fail mentalities that a world of standardized tests have bred them to be. The third group that Bain describes, "strategic learners," is not very distinguishable from the first, and are perhaps meant to be a subgroup of "surface learners." Like surface learners, they seek out the information that the professor or a test will ask of them. The difference, perhaps, is that while surface learners are solely concerned about passing or failing, strategic learners are also concerned with their appearance. On the outside, they look like deep learners, and they do retain more information than surface learners, but they do not take the next step to connect their knowledge to practical applications. While Bain admits that these students...

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