Children learning by themselves and progressive inquiry

Teemu Leinonen, FLOSSE Posse, Jun 10, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Suggesting that Sugata Mitra’s main argument is that "Children learn without a teacher, or at least without a teacher-led instruction," Teemu Leinonen argues that "if we’ll take a closer look of his experiments the argument is oversimplified. In the experiments there is a teacher - an extraordinary teacher. That is professor Mitra himself." How so? "Mitra is giving students an assignment.... A professor asking students to study, giving them a new tools (computers) empowering them, giving them self-confidence and motivation. There is also a promise and actual implementation of assessment... children learn even better if they have a “granny figure” supporting them... a good teacher is a bit like a granny: supports students, is interesting in their work and praise them." It is, in other words, a bit like progressive inquiry learning, a method widely studied and used in Finland. Perhaps. But the inference is that since "A does x" and "B does x", then "A is B". This is a fallacious inference. Mitra may do some things in common with teachers, but it does not follow that he is a teacher, certainly not in the sense that most people would think of one.
Views: 0 today, 270 total (since January 1, 2017).[Direct Link]