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
I've been listening to the Today programme talking about the idea for making schools into academies so I thought I'd share this TED talk with you.
Maybe you saw a talk given a while ago by Ken Robinson (this is the follow up), or have read his book "The Element". He discusses the need to revolutionise education which, he says, is more appropriate for a linear industrial age; life is not linear but organic. We have to move to a model which is based more on the principles of agriculture – human flourishing is an organic process and not a manufacturing process. Like a farmer, all you can do is create the conditions under which people can flourish
He says we have become enthralled by ideas which meet yesterday's needs.
He reminds us that most teenagers don't wear a wrist watch because we live in a digital world where the time is always available – yet older people often take wearing a watch for granted.
At the heart of his ideas is the connecting of talent, passion and opportunity.