Monday, 14 November 2011

Child Driven Education

The last video of the day. Another TED talk, this one by Sugata Mitra.

Mitra observed that there are many places in the world which has poor education, and no good teachers want to go to teach there. This is also key areas where there is troubled communities and problems with poverty and violence.
However, Mitra found evidence of children's own willingness to learn, by installing a few 'hole in the wall' type computers, connected to the internet in one of the slums in New Delhi. He found that with no instruction, children who had never seen a computer in their life were finding information and teaching it to themselves. He found that "children will learn to do, what they want to learn to do".

This led on to other experiments, like putting computers in classrooms with speech to text software. After a few months children who could speak English but with very strong accents soon learned how to pronounce better, even if it was more like Stephen Hawking.

Schools who were lucky enough to have computers encouraged their students to use them to complete there homework, using any tools or resources they could find. The amount the children learnt increased greatly.

In the video, Mitra talks about other tests he done, in India, Africa, Italy and the UK, with impressive results. What he has found, is that with the right resources and within the right environment, children can learn much without the aid of a teacher.

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