Speaking at LIFT 2007, Sugata Mitra talks about his Hole in the Wall project. Young people in rural India worked out how to use a PC on their own and then taught other young people. He asks, what else can children teach themselves? His view is that education is a self-organising system and, in the absence of formal education, young people will work out a way to educate themselves and each other. He refers to this process as Minimally Invasive Education:
MIE uses children's natural curiosity and focuses on providing an enabling environment where they can learn on their own. Children, in the process of freely experimenting with the Learning Station, pick up critical problem solving skills. It also provides a collaborative setting where children can share their knowledge and in the process, develop better group dynamics, all in a highly natural environment.
MIE's uniqueness is its ability to attract children towards the Learning Station driven purely by their own interests. Conventional pedagogy, on the other hand, focuses on the teacher's ability to disseminate information in a classroom setting. MIE thus complements the formal schooling system by providing a much needed balance for a child to learn on her own and provides for a holistic learning experience.
How might this approach apply to the kinds of learning experiences we provide at Tallis?