Doesn't everybody desire the same skills and knowledge?
Ultimately, a student must choose to seek out new inforamtion or refine their skills. A student's personal epistemology, what an individual believes about the nature of knowledge and how knowledge is formed has a profound impact on how that student will approach learning, develop cognitively, and succeed academically.
Many students have simplistic epistemologies, and view knowledge as absolute and comprised of many unrelated components. For such students the source of knowledge is often an authority – an instructor or a text. They do not have a constructivist view of knowledge formation.
More sophisticated students see knowledge as tentative, related, and structured, and believe they can construct knowledge.
In nearly all contexts, researchers have shown that a student’s personal epistemology correlates with academic success. For example, Ryan showed that the more students believe in simple knowledge, the more likely they are to equate factual recall with comprehension.1
In fact, most physics courses show a degradation of values about learning and science. Using the Maryland Expectations Survey, Redish has found that students' move away from the desired, expert-like values.2
When I attempted to correlate student's personal epistemologies with their learning, FCI normalized gain, I found a peculiar relationship. With one of the courses last year, there was a large, but not significant, inverse correlation with normalized gain. Those who learned more physics had less favorable responses on the self-regulated learning questions.3