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Lifelong Learning

July 10, 2013

Education brings a lifetime of benefits to people, from greater economic opportunities to job satisfaction to better health. Ohio State researchers are studying how people learn best--from preschool to old age, and everywhere in between.

Lifelong Learning

Ohio State has awarded more than 670,000 college degrees and is ranked in the nation's top 20 public universities.

But the university's commitment to education doesn't end with college students. Throughout Ohio State, researchers are finding ways to make education better for learners of all ages, from young children to older adults.

They're finding how parents and teachers can help young people be better students and the best ways for adults to keep learning.

Read on to see how Ohio State research helps students of all ages:

An early start: An Ohio State study found that young children with poor language skills will improve more if they are placed in classrooms with high-achieving students. And researchers have discovered that parents and teachers can help boost preschoolers' reading skills with one small change in how they read aloud. All they have to do is make specific references to print--such as pointing out letters and words on the page, showing capital letters, and showing how to read left to right.

It's elementary: Many parents and teachers want to reward elementary school students for doing well in their classes. But Ohio State education professors say that rewards can actually be counterproductive if used incorrectly. They may even lead to less learning and more cheating.

Finding keys to success: An Ohio State sociologist is studying how boys' lack of effort in elementary and high school is connected to the fact that women outpace men in college degrees--and how to prevent men from falling behind. An education professor uncovered one factor that can help determine whether a black man will succeed in college: grit--a dedication to pursuing and achieving a goal, whatever the obstacles and failures along the way.

Education for health: The importance of education continues into adulthood, and affects people around the world. An Ohio State professor led a study that found that education was more important than just knowledge in stopping the spread of HIV in Africa.

Lifelong education: Learning doesn't have to stop as people enter their senior years. A study at Ohio State found that a good mood helps older adults improve their decision making and working memory.