Learners teaching learners
What this can look like in a school facing ‘barriers’One such example; I was inspired by a story shared by Helen Martin toward the end of last year: How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses. I had read it before and it had stayed in my mind, so re-reading it was a reminder as to why it had been so powerful the first time around. Imagine you are a student or educator at the following school:
For the study of maths Sergio Juárez “began experimenting with different ways of posing open-ended questions on subjects ranging from the volume of cubes to multiplying fractions”. The resulting collaborative learning was “noisy, [and] slightly chaotic….the opposite of the sort of factory-friendly discipline that teachers were expected to impose. But within…[a short time], they had come up with the answer” (source).
The next step was to implement Sugata’s suggestion that children learn most effectively when they have access to the Web - not an easy task in the environment Sergio and his students worked in. Unfortunately, there was no resource for the school to access to the Internet directly. “As a result, Juárez Correa became a slow-motion conduit to the Internet. When the kids wanted to know why we see only one side of the moon, for example, he went home, Googled it, and brought back an explanation the next day” (source).
- Students can learn even when faced with issues such as lack of resources and funding
- Regardless of location and education background, given time and access to basic resources, many students will grasp any possible opportunity that comes their way to learn...they are curious, applied and filled with wonderings. Often, these students will help each other to learn.
- Many students learn well when encouraged to be creative, collaborative, and to take ‘ownership’ of the learning
- Teachers who are global in their outlook, and self-directed in their own professional development and inquiry, can make major shifts in their own practice if they are open to changing their role and beliefs about how people learn
- National standardised testing appears to be something that restricts, and possibly even negates, 1 to 4 in the list above.
- International student. CC licensed Flickr image by Penn State: http://www.flickr.com/photos/53130103@N05/4947783158
- Veda Pathashala students learning. CC licensed Wikimedia image by Rhariram: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Veda_Pathashala_students_learning.jpg
- Come with Us/The Test. CC licensed Wikipedia image by Chemicalfire 07: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Come_with_us_the_test.jpg
- Students; captivated by a movie of themselves. CC licensed Flickr image by eltpics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/54942754@N02/6711545545