[P2P-F] Fwd: Wired : learner centered movement

Anna Harris anna at shsh.co.uk
Fri Oct 18 20:40:19 CEST 2013

Thank you June, I felt we were really in tune. But can you enlarge on your
last point - why does it have to be systematised? IMO that's where it falls
down, thinking that there must be a formula. There isn't. Even that number
12 you quoted is full of 'shoulds' that could be used to impose or
undermine. There is no substitute for direct on-the-job experience, which
cannot be used to extrapolate a theory to use for the next time. Each
moment is unique. That's why we need human beings as well as computers.
Computers give us information but only we can feel and understand its


On Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 6:45 PM, June Gorman <june_gorman at sbcglobal.net>wrote:

> I grant your point, Anna and am far more aligned with it than not.  That
> is why the 12th Principle of the TEF is my favorite:
> *Principle 12: Sanctity of Human Learning and Life*
> The learning environment shall be sacred, trust in the wisdom of
> imagination, teach the wonder and potential of every human child, the
> interrelationship of life and that we can no longer afford to live with
> privileged disregard of this planet, all its diverse and valuable species
> and each other.
> As a 30+ year teacher, I can honestly and most sincerely say everything
> truly important I learned about education, I learned from the children and
> students themselves.  Mostly, how much the way I had been taught to teach
> and was the "best way to learn" applied to very few of the actual human
> beings in front of me who, as true of every child born to the earth, loved
> learning as a natural a priori for the most "learning-dependent" species on
> the planet.  Before often being destroyed by our often very "rigid"
> educational systems.
> I spent all the years after my own "elite" education trying to learn from
> them how to really teach what they were interested in learning and more
> importantly, without doing their innate joy and passion in learning, damage.
> Yes, I think we could easily replace all Teacher Education with a better
> study of how children prefer to and thrive most in education, by
> understanding and then choosing their own best way to learn and what most
> matters to them to learn.
> But you are still going to have to "systemize" that education, even if the
> children are some of the prime contributors to it.  :-)
> June
>   ------------------------------
>  *From:* Anna Harris <anna at shsh.co.uk>
> *To:* dante.monson at gmail.com; P2P Foundation mailing list <
> p2p-foundation at lists.ourproject.org>
> *Cc:* June Gorman <june_gorman at sbcglobal.net>; Myra Jackson <
> mljack19 at gmail.com>
> *Sent:* Friday, October 18, 2013 10:02 AM
> *Subject:* Re: [P2P-F] Fwd: Wired : learner centered movement
> This is an interesting discussion, but seems to be leaving out the most
> important element, consulting the child. Child centered really means the
> child in charge, trusting the child to make decisions and learn from
> mistakes.
> While I understand your concern June, my child self feels constricted by
> all these principles. TEF seems to have a very clear idea of what it is
> trying to produce. Has it asked the child? It seems to have been decided
> what is best for the child, and for society. Certainly more respectful but
> still a top down decision.
> Do we really need to stipulate anything? Could we just follow the child,
> learn from the child? That doesn't mean abnegating my own interaction and
> involvement, but that must always be strictly as an equal, not to dictate
> because of my superior age and experience. This is not easy. We think we
> know. We feel responsible. Huge learning for the adult is involved.
> And there is still some sort of social demand that the child be 'useful to
> society', Leave them alone, let them be free. We have done enough damage.
> Anna
> On Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 5:20 PM, Dante-Gabryell Monson <
> dante.monson at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi June,
> Thanks for your reply,
> I personally do not see this as a replacement of humans by the machines.
> I rather see the internet as a powerful tool for access to information,
> both supporting and facilitated by dynamics between learners.
> I believe that the pedagogies it can be inspired of are that of Piaget,
> Montessori, ...
> And as Marco underlined, hardly any new self learning ( or mutual learning
> ) approaches.
> What is new, is possibly broader mainstream recognition, possibly
> supported by the more widespread usage and interconnection of information
> technologies globally, and in peoples lifestyles, facilitating a shift away
> of "the expert", or "the teacher" as monopoly in terms of knowledge.
> Such approaches have been central in my own learning - up to a point where
> I felt I could learn faster / feel less alienated in my learning by leaving
> school.
> The challenge, then, for me at least, is to build up recognition through
> networked approaches, with peers, rather then through top down ,
> centralized certification programs and education environments.
> Although one may argue that the tests could at some point confirm the
> acquired ( self ) learning, the self learner ( or rather, the mutual
> learners in self organizing approaches ) does not, contrary to official
> enrolled students, benefit from such "student" status, and at least in my
> experience, faces pressures from society, even if only in terms of lack of
> support.
> Cordially,
> Dante
> On Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 1:37 PM, June Gorman <june_gorman at sbcglobal.net>wrote:
> Dante-Gabryell --
> This is wonderful stuff.  I know of Mitra's work and find it exciting.
>  Some of us in the UN Commons Cluster are working on these ideas as well
> and how they fit into education of and about all the Commons.
> But as a 30+ year (Western-US) teacher and the founder of the *MailScanner
> has detected a possible fraud attempt from "" claiming to be
> <>MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt
> from "" claiming to be Transformative Education Forum *, I
> would caution at the over-enthusiasm of the computer-focused translation of
> this idea of "learner-centered".  It is clearly an amazing and freeing tool
> in countless ways besides providing the "Library of the World" to any
> child, nearly anywhere with access to one.  But it reduces dangerously the
> historical, pedagogical and epistemological theories of learning and the
> human child themselves, down to dangerously reductive concepts of what in
> fact is most important "to learn".  Whose "information" gets processed and
> with what underlying results?
> It is one of my deepest concerns with the over-promotion of STEM (Science,
> Technology, Engineering and Math) in the Western world, dramatically by
> "education promoting companies" who want to sell this model to everyone
> else as the US is currently doing promoting "No Child Left Behind"
> worldwide through the World Bank and Brookings Institute.  But for those of
> us in the education field all our life, there is definite need to examine
> these issues, like certain brain theory results accompanying early child
> exposure to computers as their dominant learner - interaction.  The TEF
> tries to address this issue of needed complete intelligence development
> with arts, humanities and especially the social/cultural/emotional learning
> not developed with this priority or technological "default".
> Anyway, more is available on this on the TEF website, but particularly the
> *MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from ""
> claiming to be TEF Principles*<>.
>  There is a serious caution here about just how much and what exactly, the
> "machines" can and do teach when used primarily? So much cheaper though,
> for those trying to go into the field of education for their own profit and
> on top of it, leaves out those more philosophical, even human justice and
> equity arguments that actually really matter for children around the world
> to ultimately make sense of their lives and societies.
> Best,
> June
> *June Gorman, Educator and Educational Theorist*
>  Co-founder*, **MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from
> "" claiming to be <>MailScanner has
> detected a possible fraud attempt from "" claiming to be Transformative
> Education Forum (note website re-work, so ignore "non-standard"
> notification :-)*
> Education Advisor,  <http://www.safepla.net/>
> *UN SafePlanet Campaign *
> *Board Project Director for Outreach, I**nternational Model United
> Nations Association* <http://imuna.org/>* *
> *Steering Committee, (UNESCO/Global Compact) **K-12 Sector for
> Sustainability Education *<http://www.uspartnership.org/main/view_archive/1>
> Member, UN Education Caucus for Sustainable Development
> Member, UN Commons Cluster
>   ------------------------------
>  *From:* Michel Bauwens <michel at p2pfoundation.net>
> *To:* p2p-foundation <p2p-foundation at lists.ourproject.org>
> *Sent:* Friday, October 18, 2013 4:03 AM
> *Subject:* [P2P-F] Fwd: Wired : learner centered movement
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: *Dante-Gabryell Monson* <dante.monson at gmail.com>
> Date: Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 2:16 AM
> Subject: Wired : learner centered movement
> To: "econowmix at googlegroups.com" <econowmix at googlegroups.com>, "
> netention-dev at googlegroups.com" <netention-dev at googlegroups.com>, "
> global-survival at googlegroups.com" <global-survival at googlegroups.com>
> http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/free-thinkers/*
> *
> *a new breed of educators, inspired by everything from the Internet to
> evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, and AI, are inventing radical new
> ways for children to learn, grow, and thrive. To them, knowledge isn’t a
> commodity that’s delivered from teacher to student but something that
> emerges from the students’ own curiosity-fueled exploration.*
> entire article : http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/free-thinkers/all/
> *student centered movement :
> http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/student-centered-movement/*
> " TED has created a toolkit full of ideas for jumpstarting
> student-centered learning in your home, local community, or school. It’s
> called SOLE: How to Bring Self-Organized Learning Environments to Your
> Community. Download it here <http://www.ted.com/pages/sole_toolkit> and
> share your story afterward on the SOLE Tumblr <http://tedsole.tumblr.com/>
> ."
> further large excerpts :
> Teachers provide prompts, not answers, and then they step aside so
> students can teach themselves and one another. They are creating ways for
> children to discover their passion—and uncovering a generation of geniuses
> in the process.
> ...
> “If you put a computer in front of children and remove all other adult
> restrictions, they will self-organize around it,” Mitra says, “like bees
> around a flower.”
> A charismatic and convincing proselytizer, Mitra has become a darling in
> the tech world. In early 2013 he won a $1 million grant from TED, the
> global ideas conference, to pursue his work.
> He’s now in the process of establishing seven “schools in the cloud,” five
> in India and two in the UK. In India, most of his schools are single-room
> buildings. There will be no teachers, curriculum, or separation into age
> groups—just six or so computers and a woman to look after the kids’ safety.
> His defining principle: “The children are completely in charge.”
> Mitra argues that the information revolution has enabled a style of
> learning that wasn’t possible before.
> ...
> Mitra’s work has roots in educational practices dating back to Socrates.
> Theorists from Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi to Jean Piaget and Maria
> Montessori have argued that students should learn by playing and following
> their curiosity.
> ...
> In recent years, researchers have begun backing up those theories with
> evidence. In a 2011 study, scientists at the University of Illinois at
> Urbana-Champaign and the University of Iowa scanned the brain activity of
> 16 people sitting in front of a computer screen.
> ...
> The study found that when the subjects controlled their own observations,
> they exhibited more coordination between the hippocampus and other parts of
> the brain involved in learning and posted a 23 percent improvement in their
> ability to remember objects. “The bottom line is, if you’re not the one
> who’s controlling your learning, you’re not going to learn as well,” says
> lead researcher Joel Voss, now a neuroscientist at Northwestern University.
> ...
> A similar study at UC Berkeley demonstrated that kids given no instruction
> were much more likely to come up with novel solutions to a problem. “The
> science is brand-new, but it’s not as if people didn’t have this intuition
> before,” says coauthor Alison Gopnik, a professor of psychology at UC
> Berkeley.
> Gopnik’s research is informed in part by advances in artificial
> intelligence. If you program a robot’s every movement, she says, it can’t
> adapt to anything unexpected. But when scientists build machines that are
> programmed to try a variety of motions and learn from mistakes, the robots
> become far more adaptable and skilled. The same principle applies to
> children, she says.
> ...
> Evolutionary psychologists have also begun exploring this way of thinking.
> Peter Gray, a research professor at Boston College who studies children’s
> natural ways of learning, argues that human cognitive machinery is
> fundamentally incompatible with conventional schooling. Gray points out
> that young children, motivated by curiosity and playfulness, teach
> themselves a tremendous amount about the world. And yet when they reach
> school age, we supplant that innate drive to learn with an imposed
> curriculum. “We’re teaching the child that his questions don’t matter, that
> what matters are the questions of the curriculum. That’s just not the way
> natural selection designed us to learn. It designed us to solve problems
> and figure things out that are part of our real lives.”
> Some school systems have begun to adapt to this new philosophy—with
> outsize results. In the 1990s, Finland pared the country’s elementary math
> curriculum from about 25 pages to four, reduced the school day by an hour,
> and focused on independence and active learning. By 2003, Finnish students
> had climbed from the lower rungs of international performance rankings to
> first place among developed nations.
> ...
> Juárez Correa had mixed feelings about the test. His students had
> succeeded because he had employed a new teaching method, one better suited
> to the way children learn. It was a model that emphasized group work,
> competition, creativity, and a student-led environment. So it was ironic
> that the kids had distinguished themselves because of a conventional
> multiple-choice test. “These exams are like limits for the teachers,” he
> says. “They test what you know, not what you can do, and I am more
> interested in what my students can do.”
> ...
> But these examples—involving only thousands of students—are the exceptions
> to the rule. The system as a whole educates millions and is slow to
> recognize or adopt successful innovation. It’s a system that was
> constructed almost two centuries ago to meet the needs of the industrial
> age. Now that our society and economy have evolved beyond that era, our
> schools must also be reinvented.
> ...
> *Want to help teachers like Sergio Juárez Correa make a difference?
> Here’s how you can get involved in the student-centered movement<http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/student-centered-movement/>
> .*
> --
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