The importance of education has always been an issue with parents. How to go about it and how do we ensure that our kids have an all around experience in learning? What would a school look like if students designed it themselves?
Sugata Mitra wants children to participate in self-organized learning. He wants kids to be in environments where they are given the space to explore their own curiosities along with peers and, therefore, teach each other.
Mitra makes a point and states that the outdated school system as it exists today was created 300 years ago in the British Empire. “It’s quite fashionable to say the education system is broken,” says Mitra. “It’s not, It’s wonderfully constructed — it’s just that we don’t need it anymore. It’s outdated.”
Sumatra Mitra won the 2013 TED Prize for his innovation in education.
In 2011, there preceded The Independent Project that showed this type of “self-education to be quite successful.
Initiated by Sam Levin a 12th grade student at Monument Mountain Regional High School, a public school in Massachusetts, the Principal, Marianne Young agreed to a pilot program that allowed students their own learning environment. Not only was it successful, it also enriched the students outside of the traditional learning environment we know today. Isn’t that what we want for our kids, to grow in all aspects of their lives? One student learned to play piano while others endeavored to become writers. The project is a demonstration of “effort, learning and a mastery of skills.”
Sergio, one of the students of the program says, “School has always been a big problem for me. If not for this program, I don’t know if i’d be graduating, I don’t know where’d I’d be. This has really been my savior and got me through the last two years of High School.”
After the first semester, an evaluation was undertaken and changes were made to the model. Now several schools in the country have their own Independent Project. Sam Levin is now a student at the University of Oxford.
Opposed by some and supported by others, watch how kids in The Independent Project are motivated to learn their own passions. If students designed their own school… it would look like this: