One of my daughters forwarded a link to me on a Ted Talk by Sugata Mitra and his research into “child driven” education.
Sugata Mitra is an education researcher and scientist. He looked at the problem of bringing education and teachers into areas of India that needed them most. Attracting good teachers to work in these areas was not an easy task, so Mitra experimented with other approaches. From this grew “The Hole in the Wall Project”.
“The Hole in the Wall” referred to computers built into walls in public places, places where children and youth would happen upon them. There were track pads built in as well. With no instruction or guidance, the children that happened upon these quickly learned how to use them. They learned from each other and collectively progressed through learning how to connect with others through the Internet. They learned to speak English which enabled them to access more resources and content on the web and to communicate globally!
As a result of these “experiments” Sugata Mitra was able to show that children were able to learn without the guidance of teachers. They learned because they were curious and they, along with their peers, shared what they learned. He described this learning as “child-driven” and the education they received as “minimally invasive”.
Watch this Ted Talk to learn more about how Mitra’s research progressed and where it is going. There is another Ted Talk that describes his vision to a “Build a School in the Cloud!”