Which Is More Important, Learning or Grades? 3 Shocking Survey Results

The results of a new study by The Wiseman Institute paint a surprising picture of educational priorities in the United States. The importance given to learning versus grades can differ significantly between students and parents, and in the case of medical students, may actually create a public danger.

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Parents and students in general place top priority on improving the ability to learn and focus in school versus grades.

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) June 17, 2014

The results of a new study by The Wiseman Institute paint a surprising picture of educational priorities in the United States. The importance given to learning versus grades can differ significantly between students and parents, and in the case of medical students, may actually create a public danger.

While the Institute expected “better grades” to be at the top of the priority list for both parents and students, they weren’t.

Shock One: “Learning and focus” trumps grades

Almost double the amount of students and parents chose “improve ability to learn and/or focus” as their top academic priority (37%) compared to those who prioritized better grades (20%).

Shock Two: Students and parents demand clarity on the value of education

Nearly just as many parents and students who ranked “better grades” as #1 (20%) instead chose “more clearly understand the value of my education” (17%) as their highest priority.

This suggests that clarifying the value of education may be just as important as grades to parents and students.

But the results that truly stunned The Wiseman Institute were the break-out among responses between parents and each student group
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Shock Three: Big differences in results across student groups and parents

While most Undergraduate and Master’s students ranked the “ability to learn and focus” as their top priority (37% and 42% respectively)…

…the biggest priority for Medical and Law students is to earn better grades (40%).

High school students, on the other hand, are divided.

Their priorities are, in order: decreasing study time (22%), more clearly understanding the value of their education (20%), grade improvement (20%), improving their ability to learn and focus (18%), and improving their test-taking confidence (14%).

On the other hand, parents strongly valued the “ability to learn and/or focus” (40%) and greater clarity on the value of education for their children (30%), over grades (10%).

“These results tell a story with three main themes,” says Brett Bergen, Founder of The Wiseman Institute:

First, both parents and students in general place top priority on improving the ability to learn and focus in school versus grades, and that’s a good thing.

Second, grades and time are much more important to students than parents. This may be because parents better recognize that good grades come naturally from greater learning and focus (and don’t care how much time it takes).

Third, an issue arises for under-performing Medical and Law students. These students rather earn better grades than improve their ability to learn and focus (likely because there’s a strong relationship between academic performance with job pay and status in these fields).

Medical students' prioritization of better grades over learning may endanger the public once these students become practicing doctors.

However, a new course offered by The Wiseman Institute promises to help students never again need to make that trade-off.

The Wiseman Institute plans to launch an online course later this year to teach students (high school and up) how to “learn anything, remember everything, and to clarify the value of an education.” Find out more about the course here: http://bit.ly/wisemanlaunch

The Wiseman Institute’s home page: http://www.wisemaninstitute.com

The margin of error for the survey results is 5.7%. To learn more about the study and its results (including requests for data), you may contact The Wiseman Institute at brett (at) wisemaninstitute (dot) com


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