The way things are typically taught at University is at odds with what we know about how we learn.  Here is a fascinating interview with Alison Gopnik in Macleans magazine.  Here are some choice quotes:

“The traditional way of thinking about learning at a university is … not a model that anybody’s ever found any independent evidence for.”

“[in traditional university education] There’s not exploratory learning, there’s not guided apprenticeship.”

“…it’s sort of ironic, [students at elite universities are] over-prepared, … Because there’s insane pressure on high school students to achieve and get into college, by the time they get here they’ve already got a mindset: “All right, it’s absolutely imperative that I get an A+ on every single test and I need to know what I have to do to achieve that.” But what we want in students is creativity and a willingness to fail. I always say to students, “If you’ve never at some point stayed up all night talking to your new boyfriend about the meaning of life instead of preparing for the test, then you’re not really an intellectual.”

“The issue … is we’re selecting a group that has gone through so much pressure to get to university that they don’t have that wide-ranging curiosity that’s a really important part of having an intellectual life.”

Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. Her research field is in children’s learning and development, her most recent book is The Philosophical Baby: What children’s minds tell us about love, truth and the meaning of life.  Here she is speaking about her work at a TED conference: