[IAEP] NN, Mitra, and the role of the teacher

K. K. Subramaniam kksubbu.ml at gmail.com
Sat Oct 30 22:00:17 EDT 2010

On Friday 29 Oct 2010 3:21:55 pm Teemu Leinonen wrote:
> On 26.10.2010, at 20.12, Caryl Bigenho wrote:
> > I watched Negroponte on the Colbert show last night.  Nice.  He
> > seems to have toned down his former "we don't need teachers... kids
> > will do it all" line a bit, but it is still implied.
> > 
> > Sugata Mitra implies the same in his TED talk:
> > 
> > http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves.htm
> > l
> I think the latest TED talk of Sugata Mitra is much more interesting
> and relevant:
> http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education.html
One has to understand the context of Mitra's experiments. There is a old 
saying in India about how kids learn:
  Quarter from the teacher; quarter from peers; quarter from self-study and 
quarter over time (i.e. from rumination and experience)

In the last forty years, schools in India have become teaching-centric. 
Teachers are expected to adhere strictly to a curriculum set by a committee 
and are held accountable for its completion. This has lead to schools becoming 
a place where teaching happens but not learning. Students vote with their feet 
:-(. In my own interventions in schools, I have met many teachers who are 
frustrated by the situation. Mitra is drawing attention of the authorities to 
these disappearing opportunities. Schooling should assist learning and not 
interfere with it.


More information about the IAEP mailing list