Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education.html brilliant video to keep our eyes on the prize - our students. What will you do today on your first day of school to allow students to drive their personalized learning today without constraints?
Naomi, "keep our eyes on the prize - our students" needs to be repeated over and over and over again. I find it amazing how much conversation about education focuses on everything but students. I like to point to Google's 10 Things We Know to Be True. Number one on that list is: Focus on the user and all else will follow. If we focus on students all else will follow. Way back when my son was getting ready for his very first day of school, I remember a sales clerk saying to him how horrible he must have felt that summer was over and school was starting. I would have preferred the clerk saying how exciting it was to start a new school year: new things to do, explore, and learn. Tomorrow is the first day of school for NYS students. I am no longer in the classroom, but I resolve to wish every kid I see between today and tomorrow a joyful new school year!
I finish my third week of school on Friday. I've enjoyed meeting and greeting my new students. I've explained to many of my students how much I desire they learn everything possible this year. Several students have come to me after class saying he or she does not "get the specifics of ..." I've invited them in for additional help and they willingly are coming.
One of the most exciting results of these efforts came during a formative quiz given this week. One class had 100% of the students score proficient and a second class was 95% proficient. Each class expressed excitement when I shared how well they did and how such work will help them prepare for our state final at the end of the year.
IMHO, individual teachers are the most important factor in how a student succeeds. I hope I can be a positive factor in my student's education this year.
The two things that stand out in my mind from the TED talk are what Arthur C. Clarke said: interest = education and Sugata Mitra's idea of education as a self-organizing system. You ask what we can do to help students learn without constraints:
1) allow students to explore their interests/make those things we are required to teach interesting
2) give students control of their learning as much as is possible in the classroom setting
3) try not to allow the constraints imposed on the teachers unduly constrain the students
No easy task, but worth the effort.
Wow! that is the word that pops in my head after watching this video. What a creative idea that researcher had.
Children need to be allowed to use their curiosity to drive their desire to have higher critical thinking. Working with auditory impaired students, sometimes they need the language given to them so that those bubbles of curiosity can begin to rise up and float. I am focusing my year on the student and we are using the curriculum to follow a path that will hopefully lead us to some Undiscovered country.
I am agree to the concept of Sugata Mitra....we need to allow our students to choose how they will learn things at their own paced. In our school, there is a program "One Laptop Per Child' which is organized by ekindling Philippines to uphold the concept of learning at their own paced.