Future of Education : Learning by Exploring; Not Just Reading Books


Future of Education : Learning by Exploring; Not Just Reading Books

Creating generation of curious and innovative minds…

Sometime back, I was chatting with my friend about importance of information written in books.

I was arguing about dropping the importance of traditional schooling and start learning by self exploring. But most of times we hear that it’s better to study hard and build strong knowledge base.

She said, “Why to waste time on wondering about concepts when knowledge already exists in books?”. I was advocating the point of sparking curiosity in kids even before their introduction to book chapters, if they feel about learning that concept they will figure out ways to learn. Its more about passion of learning vs. setting syllabus for them.

I believe it is more difficult to ask brand new questions than remembering answers from book. Only curious mind can raise innovative questions, in fact innovation starts with a question and ends with answer.

The process of going from question to answer is called learning.

Ever thought, what will be future of education? May be a world where students will wonder about everything happening around and start learning by themselves.

Sounds imaginary but it is possible!!

Sugata Mitra (Founder of School in the Cloud) did an experiment with slum kids where he fixed computer in wall and started monitoring activities. There was no one to teach slum kids but they figured out themselves how to operate computer.

Unbelievable? Watch this video

If you have not watched video yet, I should tell you that slum kids in southern part of India learnt how to operate a computer without having prior knowledge of English. In another remote village, a group of children was able to learn complex biology concepts using computer by themselves and scored equal marks as the students of private school in Delhi.

I bet, now you will watch this 17 minute video.

Now take an example of typical Indian classroom — teacher is either preaching the textbook or burning chalk on board. Students are busy in taking notes and filling up their notebooks. No one dares to disturb teacher in between with any question.

Teacher is trying to transfer maximum knowledge from his mind to student’s mind which is never going to happen. Students are going to be evaluated with marks so they try to remember answers of all potential exam questions.

“Why to fill up brain with information which already exists in Wikipedia? You just need a device to access that information”

Then, will technology replace teachers? Yes, it should replace whatever is replaceable. At least replace preaching teachers with facilitators who can help students in exploring.

Students should shift focus from gathering information to deep thinking. Fundamental difference between machines (Google/Wikipedia) and humans is that Google can not think like us but help us finding the answers of questions. Its time to promote curiosity and deep thinking so that asking questions becomes primary mode of learning.

“Winners will be the students, who ask more original questions” 

Agree or Disagree? Connect with me over twitter @pardeepg if you have any suggestions or comments.

About the Author
Author: Pardeep Goyal
Pardeep is passionate about education and online marketing. He is co-founder of PocketScience, a mobile app for science learning. You can follow him on twitter @pardeepg

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