29/02//2012 http://mikesprocess.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... ation.htmlThe best teachers and schools don't exist where they're needed most
During a keynote in 2010 Sugata Mitra addressed a few pressing subjects regarding the future of Education which he calls "The child-driven education". Amongst others he pointed out that if you draw circles around places where good teachers won't go, those are the places where 'trouble' comes from. An ironic problem isn't it?
Good teachers don't want to go (don't get paid to go) to places where they're needed most. At the same time our children are dropping out of school and we can't teach them to deal with their own minds because we don't know how to do that ourselves! The greatest fuck up in the world today is the abuse of children within this essential point of education where the great divide between leaders and followers is created. Why are we surprised that our children cannot handle the dynamics of reality? Our reality! As I see it present education should be called 'child abuse'. How can I justify the brainwashing of my child based on the current system that's not supporting life? This point is beyond religion or politics. I simply can't.Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do.
Suga Mitra did an experiment, which was a very simple experiment. He basically embedded a computer into a wall of a slum in New Delhi. The children there barely went to school, they didn't know any English, they'd never seen a computer before, and they didn't know what the internet was. He connected high speed internet to the computer, turned it on and left it there. Interesting things started to happen. The experiment was repeated all over India and a large part of the world. What was noticed was that children will learn to do what they want to learn to do.
You see this eight year old boy teaching his student, a six year old girl how to browse. In a Rajasthan village the children recorded their own music and then played it back to each other and in the process, they've enjoyed themselves thoroughly. They did all of this in four hours after seeing the computer for the first time. In another South Indian village, these boys had assembled a video camera and were trying to take a photograph of a bumble bee 14 days after the computer was put in their village. At the end Suga concluded that groups of children can learn to use computers and the internet on their own, irrespective of who or where they were.
At this point they decided to see what else children could do with a computer. So they started off with an experiment in Hyderabad India, where a group of children (that spoke English with a very strong Telugu accent) where given a computer with a speech-to-text interface. The children where asked to speak into it. When they spoke into it, the computer typed out gibberish, so they said, "It doesn't understand anything of what we are saying." The children where told the computer would be there for two months. "Good luck making yourself understood to the computer." The children asked "How?" They didn't got an answer and Suga left. Two months later (this is documented) the accents had changed and were remarkably close to the neutral British accent. Children could do that on their own no problemo. Teachers that read this will start to hear a lot of back chat right now lol.A teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be
A lot of experiments where done with children in india in order to stimulate learning on their own. At one point even the late Arthur C. Clarke got involved. He said two interesting things.1 A teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be (isn't this hilarious)2 If children have interest, then education happens."
With children, when you've got interest, you have education. I know this for a fact from my own experience. Children will climb the highest mountain without complaining if they are interested to do so.
After Suga got funded from Newcastle university he set up another experiment in India where he set himself an impossible target: can Tamil speaking 12-year-old children in a South Indian village teach themselves biotechnology in English on their own? 26 children where called in and where told that there was some really difficult stuff on this computer. The stuff was in English and that was it.
He left the children with that computer. When he came back after two months, the 26 children marched in very, very quiet. He asked them, "did you look at any of the stuff?" They said, "Yes, we did." "Did you understand anything?" No, nothing they said. So Suga asked "how long did you guys practice on it before you decided you understood nothing?" They said, "We looked at it every day." So, "For two months, you were looking at stuff you didn't understand?" At this point a 12 year-old girl raises her hand and says, literally, "Apart from the fact that improper replication of the DNA molecule causes genetic disease, we've understood nothing."
I rest my case... - ! -
One of the referees in England who refereed the papers said, "It's too good to be true". A typical remark from a brainwashed contemporary teacher full of ego. Anyway one of the girls in the village had taught herself to become the teacher. The scores had gone up from zero to 30 percent, which is an educational impossibility under the circumstances. But 30 percent is not a pass. So Suga needed help. A friend, a local accountant. Suga asked a local girl he was playing footbal with if she would teach the children enough biotechnology to pass? She asked how would I do that? I don't know the subject. Suga said, "use the method of the grandmother." What's that? "Well, what you do is stand behind the children and admire them all the time. Just say to them, That's cool. That's fantastic. What is that? Can you do that again? Can you show me some more? She did that for two months. The scores went up to 50, which is what the posh schools of New Delhi, with a trained biotechnology teacher were getting!The Grandmother methode
Back in Newcastle with the results there was something happening that definitely was getting very serious. So, having experimented in all sorts of remote places, Suga came to the most remote place that he could think of. Approximately 5,000 miles from Delhi is the little town of Gateshead (England). In Gateshead, he took 32 children and started to fine-tune the method. He made groups of four and said, "You make your own groups of four. Each group of four can use one computer. Remember, from the Hole in the Wall. "You can exchange groups. You can walk across to another group, if you don't like your group, etc. You can go to another group, peer over their shoulders, see what they're doing, come back to your own group and claim it as your own work." And he explained to them that a lot of scientific research is done using that method.
The children enthusiastically asked, "what do you want us to do?" he gave them six GCSE questions. The first group -- the best one -- solved everything in 20 minutes. The worst, in 45. They used everything that they knew -- news groups, Google, Wikipedia, Ask Jeeves, etc. The teachers said, "Is this deep learning?" Suga said, "let's try. I'll come back after two months and do a paper test so no computers, no talking to each other, etc." The average score when done with the computers and the groups was 76 percent. When he did the paper test, after two months, the score was 76 percent! There was photographic recall inside the children, probably because the children were discussing with each other. A single child in front of a single computer will not do that.
Other results where almost unbelievable. Scores going up with time. Because after the session is over, the children continue to 'Google'. In Britain, he put out a call for British grandmothers. British Grandmothers, vigorous people. British grandmothers, 200 of them volunteered immediately. The deal was that they would give Suga one hour of broadband time, sitting in their homes, one day a week. So they did that, and over a period of two years, over 600 hours of instruction has happened over Skype, using what Suga's students call the granny cloud. The granny cloud sits over there. Suga can beam them to whichever school he want to. Back at Gateshead, a 10-year-old girl gets into the heart of Hinduism in 15 minutes and tells us things we never heard of before. Two children watch a TEDTalk. They wanted to be footballers. After watching eight TEDTalks, they wants to become Leonardo da Vinci. It's pretty simple stuff.
This is what Suga is building now and he calls it SOLEs: Self Organized Learning Environments. The furniture is designed so that children can sit in front of big, powerful screens, big broadband connections, but in groups. If they want, they call the granny cloud.
Suga went to Turin. He sent all the teachers away from a group of 10 year-old students. He said I only speak English, they spoke only Italian, so no 'language' to communicate. Suga started writing English questions on the blackboard. The children looked at it and said, "What?" He said, "Well, do it." They typed it into Google, translated it into Italian, went back into Italian Google. Fifteen minutes later, next question: where is Calcutta? This one, they did in 10 minutes. He tried a really hard one on them. Who was Pythagoras, and what did he do? There was silence for a while, then they said, "You've spelled it wrong. It's Pitagora." And then, in 20 minutes, the right-angled triangles began to appear on the screens.
We are talking about 10 year-olds here!!!
We've just stumbled across that what humans have inside their DNA. Being part of a self-organizing system. A self-organizing system is one where a structure appears without (apparent) explicit intervention from the 'outside'. Self-organizing systems also always show emergence, where the system starts to do things, which it was never designed for. Which is why you react the way you do, because it looks impossible! Just watch 'The Matrix' again on that one.
By now you should see that 'education' could be a self-organizing system, where learning is simply part of our 'natural' expression, our culture. It emerges from us 'the organism'. Yes this will take far to much time to prove because the educational system as it exists is based on making money based on industrial principles dating back to the first factory's.
There is so much money pushing the current system. It's really unbelievable. So it will take us a few years to wake up to these points. My point is that we as Destonians are already ringing the bell! In the mean time, there is a method available. One billion children and their parents. That means you too. 100 million mediators are needed and there are many more than that on the planet. Let's wake the fuck up and act! Demand something of ourselfs within this point and Demand that same thing from the teachers teaching our children.
The experiments of people like Suga Mitra (and many more) prove that there is more than meets the eye and 'thinking' you know about education is plain stupid because, take a look. Who educated us? Who got us thinking? This world is coming to a point where we have to make some tough choices. Do we go left or right. As parents we can't afford to let the system run it's course. That course will take us over a cliff called 'back in time'. Allready we are confronted with devastating consequences directly related to poor education. Let's make a stand. Stand up for equality, equal money and Education of self. Investigate Desteni and discover the solution.