What the Best College Students Do

By Ken Bain

The author of the best-selling book What the Best College Teachers Do is back with more humane, doable, and inspiring help, this time for students who want to get the most out of college--and every other educational enterprise, too.

The first thing they should do? Think beyond the transcript. The creative, successful people profiled in this book--college graduates who went on to change the world we live in--aimed higher than straight A's. They used their four years to cultivate habits of thought that would enable them to grow and adapt throughout their lives.

Combining academic research on learning and motivation with insights drawn from interviews with people who have won Nobel Prizes, Emmys, fame, or the admiration of people in their field, Ken Bain identifies the key attitudes that distinguished the best college students from their peers. These individuals started out with the belief that intelligence and ability are expandable, not fixed. This led them to make connections across disciplines, to develop a "meta-cognitive" understanding of their own ways of thinking, and to find ways to negotiate ill-structured problems rather than simply looking for right answers. Intrinsically motivated by their own sense of purpose, they were not demoralized by failure nor overly impressed with conventional notions of success. These movers and shakers didn't achieve success by making success their goal. For them, it was a byproduct of following their intellectual curiosity, solving useful problems, and taking risks in order to learn and grow.

"What the Best College Students Do" delivers on the promise of its title with rich descriptions of what the best college students do, how they think, and what they believe. Bain challenges his readers to give up the standard model of short-term success, in favor of deep learning with payoffs in living purposefully and well. I wish every college student, and every parent, could approach higher education with this sage orientation. It isn't just about the 'A.'--Pamela Barnett, Temple University


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ISBN: 9780674066649

About the Hardcover

Publisher Belknap Press
Publish date 08/27/2012
Pages 289
ISBN-13 9780674066649
ISBN-10 0674066642
Language English

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