III. General Information
Love of Learning
Love of Learning is perhaps the quality that activates all other qualities that are the focus of learning objectives. Its expression is not easily separable from demonstration of other virtues. Thus, the true lover of learning will demonstrate both independence of thought and depth of understanding. As a consequence, setting an objective for love of learning comports also setting an objective for other qualities as well. But love of learning is not exhausted by (e.g.) independence of thought.
Love of learning may be reflected in, or expressed in terms of, intellectual curiosity; the ability (as in independence of thought) to ask useful kinds of questions (rather than the ability always to have answers); the ability to see far reaching implications; the ability to make connections between disparate topics; energy and passion in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding; dissatisfaction with simply accumulating facts or data; critical ability. Testing and instruction must minimize rote learning, and, so far as possible, give scope for the exercise of individual patterns of learning and individual interests.
Love of learning may be impeded by the demands of frequent evaluation of students' performance. The time frames imposed at an institutional level, to provide an organizational framework for the university experience, may also impair love of learning.
Love of learning may best be enhanced by the provision of opportunities for the student's personal involvement in learning. Such opportunities are perhaps best furnished in independent research projects initiated by the student. In such autonomous, but supervised, study the student can not only engage with the conflicting views of published authorities but also see in action, close at hand, the supervisor's own love of learning.
In courses of formal instruction, the use of team teaching might help to encourage a student's own love of learning, especially if members of the teaching team take an appropriate role as "students", and if true dialogue is developed between the teachers.