0 Flares Made with Flare More Info'> 0 Flares ×
Sugata Mitra Teaches About Self-Teaching
Consider the connection between relationship and self-teaching.
At first glance this will appear to be a contradiction. It would seem that self-teaching is, by definition, outside the realm of relationship. Of the list of educational context categories—military, traditional, Montessori, et cetera it is the least dependent on adult guidance. On further inspection, we discover that the very nature of learning is deeply affected by relationship at the fundamental level of brain development.
Sugata Mitra’s children, gathering without adult supervision to explore the internet in the hole-in-the-wall experiments, in the absence of adult intervention, can teach about the role of relationship in this setting. Besides the obvious fact that this special learning environment was carefully designed by Mitra and his colleagues, the preceding argument would suggest that all cognitive development is dependent on the influence of adult connection, even though the adults may not be present at the moment of learning.
Safe To Learn
It is clear that basic safety is an essential condition for higher order learning and thinking. Whatever else may be happening in the lives of the children in Mitra’s experiments, it is a reasonable assumption that in those moments they spend at the wall they have a basic sense of safety, without which learning would not take place.
In one form or another, a sense of safety, however fragile it might be, is in large part provided by adults. A rather significant addition to this line of thinking is the fact that even Mitra, in designing the minimally invasive environments of his SOLE experiments, demonstrated that average student performance was boosted from 30% to 50% by the simple addition of a young adult who did nothing more than encourage students and take notice of their progress. He terms this the “grandmother effect”, in which the adult present does not teach, but only offers encouragement at every turn. One could hardly ask for a more elegant demonstration of the impact of relationship on learning.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.