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Children, ITP and Education

Instead of reviewing the article I decided to share some thoughts inspired by it.

1)   Education and ITP. The whole work of Sir Ken Robinson just made me think about how our program should be more connected with all this conversation about innovation&education&creativity. Not only for those with formal interest in education, but innovation in the way we educate is an innovation in the way we connect with each other as a society. The way we interact. In the end, no matter how deep you want to be involved in the education field, this is a subject deeply connected to our program, even if you want to create games, design installations, or create apps.

02) ITP and children&teenagers. Most of us are results of formal educational systems that tried to damage our creativity and we are here because some part of it survived. ITP is the graduate version of what Sir Ken Robinson idealize for elemental education. That somehow made me think that ITP could play an energetic role in this area. We should create more activities willing to connect ITP works and experiments with children and teenagers. Focused. Not only because they’re probably the best audience ever but also because this interaction can open exciting new possibilities in both formations – ours and theirs. That could be a powerful dialogue.

03) Just to give some examples about how can we learn from these new experiences in the education field, I selected some experiences around self-learning, technology and self-organizing systems around education.

5 comments to Children, ITP and Education

  • William Lindmeier

    For pre-school and kindergarten I went to a Montessori school, and ITP reminds me a lot of it. They both have a self-guided curriculum with the goal of making resources available to explore your own ideas. But between kindergarten and college, there wasn’t much of that kind of learning. I’m not sure this “constructivist” style of learning can teach you everything, but it would be nice to have more balance in the public school systems. I’m glad I was introduced to it at a young age.

  • Wajma "Mohseni"

    I dont have a background in education but by default I developed an interest by working in the media sector in a developing country. Most things functioned completely differently because of various factors (poverty, war, logistics, security, culture, etc, etc) which is why I found the Sugata Mitra talk so fascinating, because amongst children there really is a common thread, as he demonstrates in his studies. I havent worked with younger kids but I have trained teenagers (designers), and i had so many issues deconstructing existing notions and ideas to try to draw on creativity from a blank slate, and it was TOUGH. Whilst brilliant and adept at using computers and software, they often lacked the ability to develop creative ideas. I have several theories behind this, which is too complicated to discuss in this thread, but either way i think the learning age does have a big impact. We are never too old to learn of course, and we always are learning as programs such as ITP demonstrate (in some ways “unlearning”), but it will be interesting to see how things change as education merges with technology.

  • Susan Ettenheim

    I love Sugata Mitra’s work! Even though I know his work, it was delightful to see this TED talk again!! ITP is both a place for me to grow my own vision and work and a place for me to rethink and adjust my own teaching. I do have a hope that from ITP, I will be able to adjust my own classes (high school electives) to be a high school mini ITP. Well, not the same of course, but there is definitely some magic that could be brought to high school through technology, through computational thinking that has its roots in the arts. I envision a program that is a cousin of the robotics and computer science of the physics department. Hand in hand, they can open the world of creativity to 14-17 year olds.

    Sugata Mitra makes a wonderful case for taking risks. Why are we so risk adverse? Even my students are risk adverse. They have been trained that risky = failure when all the great people they study are the essence of risk takers – how very odd, isn’t it? Having lived a few years as a “real artist” I do understand the dangerous risks. Part of me believes that we can’t survive as a society if we allow such risky creativity to be practiced by everyone and part of me believes that it is the only way we can stay alive… what do you think?

  • Susan,

    The fact that we all are somehow risk adverse just reinforce Mitra’s argument. Risks is like fears. We all have a lot of fears. And some of our biggest actions in life is driven by fears. So I guess the idea is not to become fearless or risk takers. We don’t take risks because it’s fun, but because we need to overcome a difficulty, change an adverse situation, solve a problem that was affecting negatively our lives as individuals or our community. And so on. They’re life variables. The way we interact, react and handle it in our lives as individuals and as a society is what make the difference.

    Wajma, I’d love to hear more about your experience.

    William, I went to a Montessori school in kindergarten too! It made a big impact on me. What I think is one of the most valuable and rare skill nowadays is the ability to learn how to learn.

  • Nancy

    How would you design an elementary education?

    About Constructivism: read John Dewey, Jerome Bruner (there’s one of his books on the reading list here), also Seymour Papert (Mindstorms).

    Also, look at this. How eager the children are…