Teaching and Learning
Can you imagine your life without schools? Personally, I cannot. However, there are people who think that the mankind could easily dispense with schools. The most outstanding supporter of this idea is Sugata Mitra, a professor of Newcastle University who is famous for experiment ‘Hole in the Wall’. The first and the most stunning expression was ‘Schools are obsolete’. He backed to basics, and recalled how long schools exist and made a conclusion that there is no need any more to give lessons, there are only grandmas who encourage them. It sounds like a joke, but Mitra proves it giving his concept which is called SOLE (Self-Organized Learning Enviroments). It means that children are given difficult and important questions which they brainstorm, TEACHING THEMSELVES. Mitra thinks that this is the main concern. As a matter of fact, I cannot entirely agree with it. On the one hand, children get down to learning on their own without any compulsion and it is really efficient and kids keep up with studying faster than in school. We can see it from the ‘Hole in Wall ’ experiment. On the other hand, I think this method is suitable for a limited circle of people like eager beavers because children have to be very persistent, hard-working, patient and first of all curious about a task in order to get it through. Otherwise, they will put it off and fall behind with it, especially it is related to goofs off. For instance, some people can hand in one task in a couple of minutes cause it seems to them as easy as ABC while the other scrape through this task and they need A for effort. This is my point of view on Mitra’s ideas.
Another English expert on education and creativity, Ken Robinson has thoughts which are opposed to Sugata Mitra’s ones. He covered a lot of ground on educational problems and one of them is teaching. The educator considers that teaching is a creative profession and the main role of it is to facilitate learning in spite of Mitra who gives teachers up. Another problem is dropout crisis in the USA. But there is a similar situation in our country. Lots of students play hooky at school and drop out of university or even flunk out and eventually do not make the grade. Robinson is sure that the first way of resolving this problem is creativity. He proposes individualizing teaching and learning instead of culture of standardization from the old school. As for me, I agree with Robinson. Creativity is a power which fosters learning process, it makes students to be eager for studying cause ‘curiosity is an engine of achievement’. To fill in the blanks, the educational system needs to be enhanced and there are people who put their thinking cap on it.