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

Rakesh Biswas rakesh7biswas at gmail.com
Sat Oct 30 22:33:24 EDT 2010

Agree with Subbu about the situation in India.

Many teachers unknowingly prevent learning to happen as they have been
themselves prevented from learning in their own school years. The emphasis
is more on following rote memorization rather than encourage the exploring
of newer horizons.

OLPC can hope to change that.

I would prefer my college students to learn through computer mediated
communication but as they have been brought up in the previous system it is
very difficult for them to try out exploratory learning rather than focus on
rote memorization to clear their exams.

This cycle of getting over their exams continues right up to their
doctorates following which they encounter a void for some time and later
become focused into narrower areas where they gradually start understanding
the importance of self directed life long learning.




On Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 7:30 AM, K. K. Subramaniam <kksubbu.ml at gmail.com>wrote:

> 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.
> Subbu
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