Do students care about 'real world' connections and problems or is there something else that motivates and drives them?
"To be perfectly honest, as a student I do not know really know what I need for the real world. The term real world confuses me sometimes. While in the process of learning something I have never thought to myself "This will really help me later on in life. Especially while I work on so and so in the future" because it's irrelevant. The helpfulness for the "real world" comes later and I think that we can never really realize the significance until we naturally and effortlessly apply that knowledge throughout our daily lives.
When I am bored or I don't want to try or the assignments seems super difficult and tedious, I subconsciously think to myself "all this effort will contribute to nothing for me later on in life. When will I ever need this? Never." And therefor justify my actions for either not doing it or not caring or not doing the work to my best ability.
extreme challenges with no personal connection or interest, or very confusing requirements = I won't need this!
I believe that most student's are not motivated by the real world. What students want is something that they can personally connect with on a deeper more intimate level. Something exciting, current, and easily relatable.
I think relatable can translate to most students definition of "real world." When we argue for something real world and applicable, I think what we really mean is that we want something relatable and personal."
Students have a lot of interesting things to say about education. Maybe we just don't ask them for their opinion often enough?