What is necessary for learning?
Not much, according to Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at Newscastle University in England. In fact, it can be reduced to three ingredients.
Mitra has come credibility here. His hole-in-the-wall project in 2007 generated tremendous interest when he showed that children could indeed learn complex tasks in the absence of formal training, spurred on by curiosity and peer interest.
So what are the three ingredients he settles on?
3 Surprising Ingredients For 21st Century Learning
1. The internet
2. Permission to interact
3. Absence of a teacher
Self-directed learning is not a new idea, but this pushes that concept much further. I want to talk more about that in a separate post.
At the end, he also explains the three necessary skills a “future” 21st century learner will need: reading comprehension (not much different than critical thinking), information retrieval (and evaluation, I’d assume), and how to believe (to resist conditioning and indoctrination).
For now, check the video out.
Students are the future, but what’s the future for students? To arm them with the relevant, timeless skills for our rapidly changing world, we need to revolutionize what it means to learn. Education innovators like Dr. Sugata Mitra, visiting professor at MIT; Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy; and Dr. Catherine Lucey, Vice Dean of Education at UCSF, are redefining how we engage young minds for a creatively and technologically-advanced future. Which of these educators holds the key for unlocking the learning potential inside every student?