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Making the Most of College

Students Speak Their Minds

Richard J. Light

ISBN 9780674004788

Publication date: 03/19/2001

Why do some students make the most of college, while others struggle and look back on years of missed deadlines and missed opportunities? What choices can students make, and what can teachers and university leaders do, to improve more students’ experiences and help them achieve the most from their time and money? Most important, how is the increasing diversity on campus—cultural, racial, and religious—affecting education? What can students and faculty do to benefit from differences, and even learn from the inevitable moments of misunderstanding and awkwardness?

From his ten years of interviews with Harvard seniors, Richard Light distills encouraging—and surprisingly practical—answers to fundamental questions. How can you choose classes wisely? What’s the best way to study? Why do some professors inspire and others leave you cold? How can you connect what you discover in class to all you’re learning in the rest of life? Light suggests, for instance: studying in pairs or groups can be more productive than studying alone; the first and most important skill to learn is time management; supervised independent research projects and working internships offer the most learning and the greatest challenges; and encounters with students of different religions can be simultaneously the most taxing and most illuminating of all the experiences with a diverse student body.

Filled with practical advice, illuminated with stories of real students’ self-doubts, failures, discoveries, and hopes, Making the Most of College is a handbook for academic and personal success.

Praise

  • Making the Most of College is an excellent book which will be of practical help to students and teachers alike. It shows close attention to the ways students learn; what they tell the interviewers, the author's own experience and that of other teachers together provide a rich account of the college experience. I will buy the book and use it, and be grateful to Richard Light for his sensitivity and creativity as a teacher and teacher of teachers.

    —Martin Trow, University of California, Berkeley

Author

  • Richard J. Light is Professor in the Graduate School of Education and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 256 pages
  • 5 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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