Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University in England, Sugata Mitra won the TED Prize for 2013. He is an extraordinary thinker, a quintessential interdisciplinarian, highly respected scholar, and authority on literacy and education. His most recent ideas about education, however, are not universally embraced and have instigated valuable discussion. For example, Mitra says this:
“Schools today are the product of an expired age; standardized curricula, outdated pedagogy, and cookie cutter assessments are relics of an earlier time. Schools still operate as if all knowledge is contained in books, and as if the salient points in books must be stored in each human brain — to be used when needed. The political and financial powers controlling schools decide what these salient points are. Schools ensure their storage and retrieval. Students are rewarded for memorization, not imagination or resourcefulness.”
Here is one of Mitra’s most important talks. What do you think?