Comtemporary Educational Issues is one of my modules this year (final year of my honours degree). It is an interesting module in which we get to debate on certain isues in education. This week my group led a debate using this video by Sugata Mitra http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education.html
We showed the video and then asked the question ‘are teachers preventing learning?’ This led to a good discussion of how technology can be used and whether we as teachers are using it to it’s full potential. As you may imagine there were quite a few defensive comments along the lines of some children would still need a teacher to make sure they learn something. The video does not suggest that we can replace teachers with computers, however it did make me think that we can underestimate how much children can learn without teachers standing over them telling them how it’s done.
An important point the video makes is that if children are interested then they will learn. This is something I agree with and it was not discussed as much as I’d have liked but as my role was to spark the debate not to dictate it’s direction I did not push this. Some people did suggest that teachers do sometimes prevent learning if , for example, they were teaching what was expected of them and not taking the children’s interests on board. It was agreed that for the majority of the time teachers don’t prevent learning.
I feel the debate was successful as everyone had voiced an opinion and some interesting issues were raised. The video could spark a number of debates and reflecting on it I wonder if we could have chosen a better question. Maybe we could have discussed whether teachers should always use children’s interests to engage them in learning. It would have also been good to have more time to perhaps discuss further points the video raised however we did have a time limit. I would recommend that all teachers watch this video and think about how this impacts their practice not only with the use of ICT but in all areas of the curriculum.