Is self-learning something that can be taught in schools?
Can we cultivate self-learning in schools? Can schools teach kids to develop a strong interest in learning, and recognize that learning is essentially their own responsibility. Can we do things differently and nurture a pleasure in learning all life long.I suggested, in an earlier post, a model of schools where teachers would be paid more, but would have to handle more students. They have to be able and, unlike many present day school teachers, motivated, to make their learners become independent of them. Not surprisingly the reaction of teachers to the idea of greatly reduced class time, and a greater emphasis on reading and self-study, is that kids will not learn if the teacher does not teach them, and in a classroom. But what is the evidence of that? What is the point of comparison? What are kids learning in school today? Look at the drop out rate. Look at the rate of functional illiteracy. Many who do graduate, have poor knowledge of history, maths, science, and languages that were taught at them in school. Despite massive investment, as much as $20 thousand per year per child in the US, the results are pathetic. So what have we got to lose? Now, we saw in a previous post, that a group of 8-11 year old kids in New Brunswick, who were allowed to listen and read in a second language, with no formal intervention from a teacher, outperformed kids in a traditional language classroom. Why not apply that to all subjects? Let kids read in class, and outside the class. Measure their activity level, like we do at LingQ. Their only responsibility of the learners would be to stay active. This is the key measurable, not passing arbitrary tests. Statistics and portfolios can be maintained on every subject. Human and face to face interaction can be organized in different ways, not just in the classroom as is the case today. Let learners of different ages interact, in classrooms, in small discussion groups, in large lecture halls where learners can comment and questions on Twitter. There can be sessions on skype at times convenient to learners and tutors or even older buddies. There can be writing for correction and to obtain advice from tutors and other ( older) learners via the Internet.I do not have a answers with regard to all possible forms of interaction and individual and community learning that can take place. I am only asking questions.
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