Provocation 2

This week, EDU8213 had its third session on Tuesday with a new big question: “How should children acquire the knowledge and skills?” It is a matter relates to the first question in provocation 1about what children should know by the age of 12.


To look at my own primary school learning experience, I remember a lot of times trapping in reciting and memorizing the things just for the sake of the tests. For instance, memorizing and calculating complicated formulations and equations for imaginary situations only existed in math tests. I never understand the point of doing this and I often forget these “knowledge” that I worked very hard the second after the exam. It seems like that I had to make a habit of memorizing and deleting unwanted information repeatedly. Therefore, I really think that the discussion we had in the previous sessions is essential for moving on to today’s question—we need to find out what the children need before thinking of how to educate them.


One of the most popular discussion of this session is about the teacher’s role in future schooling. The leading and guiding role of teachers sometimes can be questionable because of the possible side effects on making children less creative and curious. However, it can show up as a good thing as the mental support children can have when they encounter difficulties in finding the answers of the world. Nowadays, the developing technology and its appliance in education are changing teacher’s role in one way or another. We are turning to computers and internets for answers now because they may know better than our teachers and are available 24/7.


Another noteworthy point is the connection Professor Sugata Mitra made between a PhD and studying in SOLE. If the research question of a PhD thesis can be seen as the big questions in SOLE, the process of finding knowledge to answer the research question and writing up thesis can be seen as a self-organized learning process by doctoral students, and the viva is another form of defending and presenting students’ studying results just like the presentations in SOLE.


Just like it is always a bit scary to think about how new things can change the way we used to live, it is gruesome to imagine that there is a chance that one day our beloved teachers may be replaced by the cold hard machines. If it ever became true,  I just hope that we had figured out what is the future of learning by then.


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