“Any teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be”

May I recommend this TED lecture to you (please don't be alarmed by the Arthur C. Clarke quote).

In India Sugata Mitra conducted a fascinating experiment in self instruction among children. He installed PCs in remote areas and observed as children worked out how to use them. 

One school drop-out had never seen a PC before (he thought it was a TV) but worked out how to use it in only eight minutes without any intervention. The same day he went on to teach a group of other children. "The machine only used english, so we had to learn english", said one child.

He says that children can learn as much from watching as they can from doing, and often the younger children will teach the older children.

Sugata Mitra tells the story of his "hole in the wall project" which challenges some of the key assumptions of formal education

Published by Mark

Mark Waddington is a former BBC broadcaster and producer. He now works for the Diocese of Leeds as Urban Mission Officer. If you would like to get in touch email mark.waddington@leeds.anglican.org

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