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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Radical New Teaching Method?

 Aspects of AI inspired learning theories.  Heavily technology driven.  Now further enabled by MOOC. A kind of self organizing approach that assumes that children will organize to teach themselves using either their peers or the Internet.  I am skeptical that these kinds of methods will work alone.  People still have to be in the loop.  Families and environments must be strongly cooperative.  Home Schooling and Montessori are old and successful models.  See the Kahn Academy.  But different people learn in different ways.   You still have to work with accreditation/measurement of the results.    These approaches have been tested, and should be, but failures are rarely reported, since they are not in the rosy script.

In Wired:    (Read the whole article, a compelling story)

" ... an emerging educational philosophy, one that applies the logic of the digital age to the classroom. That logic is inexorable: Access to a world of infinite information has changed how we communicate, process information, and think. Decentralized systems have proven to be more productive and agile than rigid, top-down ones. Innovation, creativity, and independent thinking are increasingly crucial to the global economy.... " 

" ... In 2009, scientists from the University of Louisville and MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences conducted a study of 48 children between the ages of 3 and 6. The kids were presented with a toy that could squeak, play notes, and reflect images, among other things. For one set of children, a researcher demonstrated a single attribute and then let them play with the toy. Another set of students was given no information about the toy. This group played longer and discovered an average of six attributes of the toy; the group that was told what to do discovered only about four. A similar study at UC Berkeley demonstrated that kids given no instruction were much more likely to come up with novel solutions to a problem. “The science is brand-new, but it’s not as if people didn’t have this intuition before,” says coauthor Alison Gopnik, a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.  ... "

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