Thoughts on Future Learning6.4.2014
It is not about making it happen, it is about letting it happen.Let’s not give the young people answers, let them find out by themselves, teach each other and make learning fun again!
The Snowball Effect?
If teachers shifted towards more coaching orientated teaching methods, the role would be to encourage the young people to learn. By giving away all the control, the young students will learn to manage themselves. After that they will help manage each other and when given the right atmosphere and opportunities to enhance the knowledge in the field that they want to succeed in, they will start to pursue their dreams. They will come passionate in their work and the life long learning has started.
Alone it is hard to succeed. There is power in groups and in an environment that encourages to test out your limits, challenge your limitations and go beyond what you have thought was possible for you. This creates a feeling of accomplishment and the learning has become fun again. The team creates a feeling of belonging, gives you networks and through dialogue gives you the courage to aim for anything you wish to accomplish in life.
Demand and set goals instead of grading
Ask a question that starts the thirst for finding out the answers. The challenge needs to be aimed high and can not restrict the actions. After that the “law of not interfering” is the best option to enhance the learning experience. By setting punishments and rewards the brain shuts down and the teaching is limited by the very structures it is built on. This is why I think the grading system is not compatible with the team learning environment. How can you seriously measure an individual process, when you don’t know what the process is leading to, what the ending point is or even if there is one?
In addition to coaching, the environment also needs to create safe surroundings where by making mistakes the students are not punished, but seen as a point where the learning happens. Mistakes should not be covered and be ashamed of, but shared so that the collective learning is constantly evolving in to something better. If I learn from someone and I want to give back to the community that has given so much to me. This is why the process of creating this environment also takes time, but when the signs of evolving community start the speed accelerates. What now seems impossible might be the standard of lowest performance in the future.
Surely this does not work in every culture?
This environment can be the base of learning for people of every age. Sugata Mitra has tested and created this kind of learning environment for children in the poorest rural parts of India and at the same time the creation of Team Academy model has been growing separately in northern Europe among young students starting to enter the work life.
This way of learning is not constricted to the social or educational background and is applicable for any area where learning is wanted to happen.