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    Default Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    A few years ago I was excited on hearing a TED talk by Sugata Mitra. He had placed a computer in a village and the children learned how to access it, use it and then he expanded his experiment......



    It works anywhere children live. Check the article out at the end of the quote....

    Quote Juárez Correa found himself utterly absorbed by these ideas. And the more he learned, the more excited he became. On August 21, 2011—the start of the school year — he walked into his classroom and pulled the battered wooden desks into small groups. When Paloma and the other students filed in, they looked confused. Juárez Correa invited them to take a seat and then sat down with them.

    He started by telling them that there were kids in other parts of the world who could memorize pi to hundreds of decimal points. They could write symphonies and build robots and airplanes. Most people wouldn’t think that the students at José Urbina López could do those kinds of things. Kids just across the border in Brownsville, Texas, had laptops, high-speed Internet, and tutoring, while in Matamoros the students had intermittent electricity, few computers, limited Internet, and sometimes not enough to eat.

    “But you do have one thing that makes you the equal of any kid in the world,” Juárez Correa said. “Potential.”

    He looked around the room. “And from now on,” he told them, “we’re going to use that potential to make you the best students in the world.”http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/free-thinkers/

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    This is an interesting experiment. This is another example of children self organizing when allowed to. I read of this place in Book 3 of the Ringing Cedars series... http://www.ringingcedars.com.au/more/school/ I hope this is related enough to be in this thread... if not let me know...
    I am using the quote from Monty Python "Kill the Messenger" because that is how people react when you tell them the truth, they want the one that told them about it (the messenger) to just go away so they won't have to deal with truths like pedogate

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Quote Posted by karika (here)
    This is an interesting experiment. This is another example of children self organizing when allowed to. I read of this place in Book 3 of the Ringing Cedars series... http://www.ringingcedars.com.au/more/school/ I hope this is related enough to be in this thread... if not let me know...
    Of course it is related! Thanks so much for reminding me of the Ringing Cedars books. Maggie

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Thank you for sharing these links - very interesting and enjoyable to watch and read.

    I think that education absolutely has a place on a forum like this. In a big way, one of the best contributions we can make to bettering humanity is by empowering the next generation of children. Have you read through the NASA - FUTURE STRATEGIC ISSUES IN WARFARE 2025 document that was released? They make an interesting point about the decentralized access to education. They state that because children everywhere will have access to top quality education through the internet, the worker or low social class will not be easily manipulated anymore, threatening the system. Clearly, those in charge consider education to be one of their top priorities. We should too.

    I don't have any kids, but when I do I was thinking about sending them to a Montessori School program. It cultivates a love and desire for learning within an environment that encourages active participation and cooperation among students. It's project oriented rather than mere memorization. It involves the kids in their own learning. I'm still researching the topic but it seems like the best option available. Thoughts?
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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    i bought the dvd of the school tour. Beautiful and amazing!

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Quote Posted by S-L;758144I
    think that education absolutely has a place on a forum like this. In a big way, one of the best contributions we can make to bettering humanity is by empowering the next generation of children.
    Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, I think as you that providing the widest opportunity for learning is a major contribution. I have no children of my own but the expression that all children are our children feels true. From the story I posted, one can see that the focus on encouraging people to think and discover leads to high test results. The focus on test results leads to poor test results and poverty of mind.

    If I had children, I would like to see the kind of school that honored innate intelligence and had great guides ready to support. The teachers I have known have been just as miserable with American education as the pupils. I know a family who have children in Waldorf education that Steiner started. That plan has really great aspects as does Montessori.

    What struck me with the video and the story was that kids working together and given a computer (open to the world of information) can teach each other. and people are naturally ready to learn if it is the opportune moment in development (like infants with swimming, toddlers with language, 3 year olds with music). Montessori seems to honor that in its program?

    If I had children to care for, I believe I'd want them to be in a loose knit kind of environment that was not segregated by age and respectful that children can teach adults.

    I'd like to see learning knitting, how to use all tools, weaving, sewing, cooking...all the basic skills, exposing kids to all the languages by meeting people and speaking to them, trips to places in the area like sacred sites, museums, growing a garden, taking care of animals, building things and encouraging the love of reading. I'd appreciate that myself so I'd be glad to go back to kindergarten if it was an aware one!

    Education has not been for the cultivation of genius but the inculcation of becoming "good citizens"

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Great post and afterthoughts, thank you. Of all the things we can teach our youngest a broad and varied education is key, the understanding that it never stops and will always take effort, ultimately the more we learn the more we realize just how little we know. Learning that we do not always have the answers, but finding creative solutions in others is also key, In my opinion.

    Kids are like sponges, if at all possible I think they should be responsibly shown as much as possible, whilst balancing the innocence of childhood, of course, like it or not, it's a tough world, they need understandings and skills to prepare them. For example, it has in my family always been the custom to trick or try to fool each other, even the little ones, over time this practice developes a highly attuned sense of situational awareness, an eagle eye for slight of hand or mind and of course the rules of fair play..

    I looked into the Montessori schools, overall I would give them a good grade, they treat the kids with a high level of respect, but for me personally they only "seemed" to offer the softer, gentler side of education and sports. Don't get me wrong, if you want your kids to be the change you want to see in the world then it would be great, or we have all transitioned somehow to a peaceful loving non competitive mutually supportive world wide community, solving both poverty and desperation thus ending most crime, in that world I would definitely send my kids somewhere like that..

    Until then, personally, I will only hope that my children are tough enough and know enough that they could get along without me just fine.. We definitely need to keep on about education, it is and must be in all our plans, A B and C.... N

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    We sent our grand daughter to Montessori preschool for three years and it really nurtured her curiosity, creativity and love of learning. Unfortunately the nearest 1-12 Montessori school is over an hour each way so she is public school now memorizing junk and regurgitating it back on tests. No wonder kids hate school.

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Personally, I am so very inspired by this talk, although I found some reasonable evaluations and criticisms here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugata_Mitra

    My friend is doing something very similar in China, on the Grass-Root level, they distribute kindles(with books in them) to the students in a remote rural school. But many of the students have becoming obsessive with fictional novels, and they think maybe it is not really bad, so they put more and better fictional novels in the kindles, I wonder the potential consequences that might bring? Any thoughts?

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Quote Posted by yuhui (here)
    Personally, I am so very inspired by this talk, although I found some reasonable evaluations and criticisms here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugata_Mitra

    My friend is doing something very similar in China, on the Grass-Root level, they distribute kindles(with books in them) to the students in a remote rural school. But many of the students have becoming obsessive with fictional novels, and they think maybe it is not really bad, so they put more and better fictional novels in the kindles, I wonder the potential consequences that might bring? Any thoughts?
    The kindle program sounds very interesting. Do the kindles have encyclopedias? Do the kindles have internet access? Do the kids discuss what they read?
    great to hear about it...keep me updated please!

    Reading is my MOST Valuable ability and interest...it sure saved my life as a child. Reading expanded my imagination and analytic skills and the way to relate the connections between seeming unrelated things. IMO "hooking" the interest, developing the confidence and skills plus creating long term commitment to read is bound to produce self initiated life long learners.

    The hole in the wall computers proved that given the opportunity, learning is natural. The problems cited seemed to be more about how to maintain the equipment, prevent vandalism and get around hierarchal bullying from BIG BOYS which limited access to the others like small boys and girls. Those problems are not that major to solve.

    Lately I have been thinking a lot about the "new kids" and how we may support them. Along with reading and ability to research, I think teaching hands on skills...the basics... will help ground the "knowledge' they have brought in. So music, language, hands on motor skills (kinds of program to teach how to make anything in the world...use materials etc), and reading for pleasure seems supportive.

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Wonderful observations on the part of Sugata Mitra in the TED talk in the opening post.

    If you grew up with a "rote regurgitation"-style "education" (like I did), the short video clip from the Sudbury Valley School may be disturbing - at least at first - possibly seeming like a waste of time and not "real" education. But, somewhere between the visions of Dr. Maria Montessori, John Taylor Gatto, Hanna and Daniel Greenberg, and Mimsy Sadofsky, (founders of Sudbury Valley School), and Sugata Mitra (from the TED talk above), there is a common thread that exposes the innate desire of human beings to learn and to explore, to synthesize and create. As John Taylor Gatto so profoundly observes, the real task of educators is to help provide fertile ground, and then get the hell out of the way and let each person bring out their unique genius.



    Dennis


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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Quote Posted by yuhui (here)
    Personally, I am so very inspired by this talk, although I found some reasonable evaluations and criticisms here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugata_Mitra

    My friend is doing something very similar in China, on the Grass-Root level, they distribute kindles(with books in them) to the students in a remote rural school. But many of the students have becoming obsessive with fictional novels, and they think maybe it is not really bad, so they put more and better fictional novels in the kindles, I wonder the potential consequences that might bring? Any thoughts?
    Hey, good topic very important for our future . I just wanted to say that kids getting into fictional novels is absolutely wonderful. The thing to remember is that while non fiction teaches us about the world and that is important, fiction teaches us about ourselves and develops the inner world which creates individuality, imagination, magic, personal discretion, inner strength and other important things. People with rich inner worlds start to create their own external world and begin to examine the world in different perspectives which is the key to shaping our future.
    "I don't care" is a civilizations death sentence

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Quote Posted by yuhui (here)
    ...My friend is doing something ... in China, on the Grass-Root level, they distribute kindles(with books in them) to the students in a remote rural school. But many of the students have becoming obsessive with fictional novels, and they think maybe it is not really bad, so they put more and better fictional novels in the kindles, I wonder the potential consequences that might bring? Any thoughts?
    Quote Posted by A.Einstein
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."
    Quote Posted by A.Einstein
    "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."
    I would think the fiction feeds and nurtures the imagination, so... all is well.

    Dennis


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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Quote Posted by Delight (here)

    The kindle program sounds very interesting. Do the kindles have encyclopedias? Do the kindles have internet access? Do the kids discuss what they read?
    great to hear about it...keep me updated please!

    Reading is my MOST Valuable ability and interest...it sure saved my life as a child. Reading expanded my imagination and analytic skills and the way to relate the connections between seeming unrelated things. IMO "hooking" the interest, developing the confidence and skills plus creating long term commitment to read is bound to produce self initiated life long learners.

    The hole in the wall computers proved that given the opportunity, learning is natural. The problems cited seemed to be more about how to maintain the equipment, prevent vandalism and get around hierarchal bullying from BIG BOYS which limited access to the others like small boys and girls. Those problems are not that major to solve.

    Lately I have been thinking a lot about the "new kids" and how we may support them. Along with reading and ability to research, I think teaching hands on skills...the basics... will help ground the "knowledge' they have brought in. So music, language, hands on motor skills (kinds of program to teach how to make anything in the world...use materials etc), and reading for pleasure seems supportive.


    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    About my friend’s ebook project, I was told that they are not using kindle but nook and bambook (sorry about that, I am not very familiar with ebooks)…
    And so far, what they do is try to create this unique personal library for each student with ebook reader in their hand.

    What they have:

    1. A cloud library with thousands of books.
    2. PCs from the school and some laptops (with cloud library in them).
    3. About 150 ebook reader (nook and bambook)

    Due to the remote location of the school, broadband service is not available. But there are many encyclopedias, dictionaries in the database(cloud library), and students can choose the book they want to read. The project team make regular visits (once every two weeks) to the school and discuss with the students and teachers about what they want to read and ask questions, and share their reading experience together in after class activities. And yes, many of the students discuss the books they read.

    About the school: it’s located in Guizhou (one of the underdeveloped and poorest place in china), parents of the students are mostly migrant workers who left their home, went to big cities or big factories in order to seek job opportunities and make money for their family.

    During the visits, some students have expressed their wishes to go to high school and to learn english and asked how they can achieve that. So the team is try to add some Q&A information in the database.

    I guess the reason I am worried about the fictions lies on the basis of the “system” , in china, education is a way to change fate, and in order to do that, you have to succeed in a lot of tests and examinations, the “competition” starts from kindergarten to university…it’s very unequal and unfair in so many ways, especially when it appears to be the only way.
    Last edited by yuhui; 27th December 2013 at 06:29.

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Another story that might inspires: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/ma...ewanted=1&_r=1


    And for those who use english as first language (or as good as first language), could you please help to modify this script? It's for a short film of my friend's project:

    Children love reading, and they tell us what they read in amazing ways.

    In order to fulfill their dreams for reading, here in Guiyang, Guizhou we're building an unique digital library.

    Our vision is to bring thousands of books for each cloud library, and ensure its accessibility for every child, either by using our ebook device or downloading our smartphone app.

    We're working continuously to create a free, personalized library for every child in order to empower them with better educational resources that might secure their future.

    PROJECT PROGRESS:

    - 150 children have their ebook reader.
    - Over 1000 books have been read.
    - Tons of book reviews have been received from the children telling us what they've read.


    WHAT'S NEXT:
    Support us to create more opportunities for the next generation!


    They have some photos here: http://grow-up.us/read/?cat=50&paged=2
    I will be glad to answer questions if any information is needed.
    Last edited by yuhui; 28th December 2013 at 05:50.

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Hi, i have recently "discovered" a concept of Free Schools (also called Democratic Schools)... Dennis mentioned one such school, Sudbury Valey School in post #11. Here is a movie based on the story of another such a school in UK: Summerhill (with Polish subtitles):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJtFe6jSEQk Part 1/4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIiGxoSSAGY Part 2/4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftZWRH09vxk Part 3/4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1WaOBJGz7o Part 4/4

    And a video from Arvin Gupta on Summerhill school
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIyaKWeFhDo

    There is a book about Albany Free School, by Chris Mercogliano
    http://www.amazon.com/Making-It-Up-W.../dp/0325000433
    And here is the school's webpage: http://www.albanyfreeschool.org/about


    My children are presently at Montessori school. While I appreciate the level of freedom children are given there, compared to "traditional" (state run) schools (i went through them too) there is still something missing there.

    First of all there IS a day schedule and a curriculum to progress through. Although students may plan ahead what they will study. Especially the emphasis on learning through "work" with "Montessori materials" instead of learning through play. Children can't play with Montessori material. It's inappropriate . And the teachers attitude is not definitely individual approach at every student. My older daughter regularly complaints about that. And tries to postpone the moment we "lift off" of our apartment "into the world" almost every morning. It gets awful from time to time... Maybe it's the particular Montessori organization my children are at the moment. But it's hard to switch schools every month, break established bonds between children to start everything from scratch and see if the grass is greener somewhere else.

    The school "Experiment School" portrayed in C.S.Lewis novel "The Silver Chair" is a satire of Summerhill school mentioned before...

    I have found two Democratic Schools in my neighborhood and am going to "investigate" them more thoroughly...
    Best wishes and free energy to all
    Robert :)

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    Quote Posted by Robert J. Niewiadomski (here)
    Hi, i have recently "discovered" a concept of Free Schools (also called Democratic Schools)... Dennis mentioned one such school, Sudbury Valey School in post #11. Here is a movie based on the story of another such a school in UK: Summerhill (with Polish subtitles):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJtFe6jSEQk Part 1/4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIiGxoSSAGY Part 2/4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftZWRH09vxk Part 3/4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1WaOBJGz7o Part 4/4

    And a video from Arvin Gupta on Summerhill school
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIyaKWeFhDo

    There is a book about Albany Free School, by Chris Mercogliano
    http://www.amazon.com/Making-It-Up-W.../dp/0325000433
    And here is the school's webpage: http://www.albanyfreeschool.org/about


    My children are presently at Montessori school. While I appreciate the level of freedom children are given there, compared to "traditional" (state run) schools (i went through them too) there is still something missing there.

    First of all there IS a day schedule and a curriculum to progress through. Although students may plan ahead what they will study. Especially the emphasis on learning through "work" with "Montessori materials" instead of learning through play. Children can't play with Montessori material. It's inappropriate . And the teachers attitude is not definitely individual approach at every student. My older daughter regularly complaints about that. And tries to postpone the moment we "lift off" of our apartment "into the world" almost every morning. It gets awful from time to time... Maybe it's the particular Montessori organization my children are at the moment. But it's hard to switch schools every month, break established bonds between children to start everything from scratch and see if the grass is greener somewhere else.

    The school "Experiment School" portrayed in C.S.Lewis novel "The Silver Chair" is a satire of Summerhill school mentioned before...

    I have found two Democratic Schools in my neighborhood and am going to "investigate" them more thoroughly...
    Thanks very much for these resources and I will enjoy investigating. I was unaware of a "work oriented" stringent attitude in Montessori toward handling materials...sounds to be training/ gaining a POV on ethics of behavior?? I have recently been investigating Waldorf education.



    Quote Playfulness is encouraged in these books, because Waldorf teachers believe that imaginative wonderings can be just as educational as objective facts and conclusions, if not more so.

    This notion, that imagination is the heart of learning, animates the entire arc of Waldorf teaching. When that concept is coupled with the schools' other fundamental goal, to give youngsters a sense of ethics, the result is a pedagogy that stands even further apart from today's system of education, with its growing emphasis on national performance standards in subjects such as mathematics, science, and reading and its increasing rigor in standardized testing -- to say nothing of the campaign to fill classrooms with computers. This is not to suggest that Waldorf schools have a monopoly on contrarian ideas; Quaker and other religious schools teach ethics too. And various alternative private schools have been practicing innovative approaches to learning for years. Obviously, some Waldorf practices will resemble those in many of these schools. But that makes the Waldorf method all the more intriguing, because the daily experiences of one creative education system ought to tell us something about the challenges and possibilities for other schools, both alternative and traditional. http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs...909waldorf.htm
    Quote ....(The) Waldorf School of the Peninsula, one of around 160 Waldorf schools in the country that subscribe to a teaching philosophy focused on physical activity and learning through creative, hands-on tasks. Those who endorse this approach say computers inhibit creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans.

    The Waldorf method is nearly a century old, but its foothold here among the digerati puts into sharp relief an intensifying debate about the role of computers in education.

    “I fundamentally reject the notion you need technology aids in grammar school,” said Alan Eagle, 50, whose daughter, Andie, is one of the 196 children at the Waldorf elementary school; his son William, 13, is at the nearby middle school. “The idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that’s ridiculous.” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/te...anted=all&_r=0

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    Default Re: Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do

    my kids are all homeschooled by my mom, we use the "unschooling" method

    it's a pretty cool concept.

    Quote Unschooling is an educational method and philosophy that rejects compulsory school as a primary means for learning. Unschoolers learn through their natural life experiences including play, household responsibilities, personal interests and curiosity, internships and work experience, travel, books, elective classes, family, mentors, and social interaction. Unschooling encourages exploration of activities initiated by the children themselves, believing that the more personal learning is, the more meaningful, well-understood and therefore useful it is to the child. While courses may occasionally be taken, unschooling questions the usefulness of standard curricula, conventional grading methods, and other features of traditional schooling in maximizing the education of each unique child.
    The term "unschooling" was coined in the 1970s and used by educator John Holt, widely regarded as the "father" of unschooling.[1] While often considered a subset of homeschooling, unschoolers may be as philosophically separate from other homeschoolers as they are from advocates of conventional schooling. While homeschooling has been subject to widespread public debate, little media attention has been given to unschooling in particular. Popular critics of unschooling tend to view it as an extreme educational philosophy, with concerns that unschooled children lack the social skills, structure, and motivation of their peers, especially in the job market, while proponents of unschooling say exactly the opposite is true: self-directed education in a natural environment makes a child more equipped to handle the "real world."[2]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unschooling

    http://unschooling.com/

    makes the most sense to me, really....
    Hard times create strong men, Strong men create good times, Good times create weak men, Weak men create hard times.
    Where are you?

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