I recently watched a really inspirational TED talk from Sugata Mitra, an educationalist who believes children learn when you let them explore and when they work with their peers. If you’ve got 17 minutes to spare then I throughly recommend it (spoiler alert – it’s not strictly a piece of brain research but I hoped you’d forgive me)
The gist of it is Mitra creates opportunities to learn using
- access to resources
- childrens innate desire to learn and interact with their friends.
And the results are remarkable. He’s tested his principles across the world in different cultural and economic environment. In one study he writes down a question for a class of 10 year old children in Turin who speak no English, whilst he speaks no Italien, and in 15 minutes they are telling him about all about Pythagoras and right angled triangles; including the fact he’s mispelt the name!
Humans are learning machines – we can’t not learn but sometimes we don’t learn the things we are expected or supposed to learn. However, using questions forces us to contemplate and evaluate answers; our brains find it hard to ignore questions without searching for answers.
So if you need someone to learn something or know something, what can you do that will make it easy for them? Telling them probably won’t work – though it’s easy to think it will and it seems quick – it is of course relatively ineffective.
Instead ask questions, provide resources, promote the use of the internet, encourage people to share and evaluate their answers with others, engage them. Make people’s brains work and their learning will be far richer than you talking to them.
What will you do to encourage genuine learning?
Watch the video here http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education.html
Come and actively participate, see, hear, feel and learn how to use these principles yourself at our 3 day Train the Trainer workshop on 22nd April www.howtobeabrainfriendlytrainer.com Bookings close 15th April so book now.