I Love Learning; I Hate School: An Anthropology of College
Frustrated by her students' performance, her relationships with them, and her own daughter's problems in school, Susan D. Blum, a professor of anthropology, set out to understand why her students found their educational experience at a top-tier institution so profoundly difficult and unsatisfying. Through her research and in conversations with her students, she discovered a troubling mismatch between the goals of the university and the needs of students.
In "I Love Learning; I Hate School," Blum tells two intertwined but inseparable stories: the results of her research into how students learn contrasted with the way conventional education works, and the personal narrative of how she herself was transformed by this understanding. Blum concludes that the dominant forms of higher education do not match the myriad forms of learning that help students--people in general--master meaningful and worthwhile skills and knowledge. Students are capable of learning huge amounts, but the ways higher education is structured often leads them to fail to learn. More than that, it leads to ill effects. In this critique of higher education, infused with anthropological insights, Blum explains why so much is going wrong and offers suggestions for how to bring classroom learning more in line with appropriate forms of engagement. She challenges our system of education and argues for a "reintegration of learning with life."
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About the Author
"As I read 'I Love Learning; I Hate School, ' I sprained my neck from nodding in vigorous agreement. The book casts an anthropological lens on education in general and higher education in particular, and the result is a catalog of many of the things that I believe ail us when it comes to teaching and learning."--John Warner "Inside Higher Ed"
"We should take very seriously the critique of higher education offered by Susan Blum; the book is excellent, and I highly recommend it. Blum does the profession a service by drawing our attention to the ways in which traditional educational structures put barriers in the way of our students and their learning. She has a powerful command of educational history and theory, and her insights and anecdotes rang true to me throughout the book."-- "Chronicle of Higher Education"