India: Hole in the Wall

Minimally Invasive Education: “This is a system of education where you assume that children know how to put two and two together on their own. So you stand aside and intervene only if you see them going in a direction that might lead into a blind alley.” Sugata Mitra put a computer with a high-seed Internet access into the wall of a filthy slum. Almost instantly, slum children were using the computer to surf the Internet, paint pictures, and play music. “If computer literacy is defined as turning a computer on and off and doing the basic functions, then this method allows that kind of computer literacy to be achieved with no formal instruction. Therefore any formal instruction for that kind of education is a waste of time and money. You can use that time and money to have a teacher teach something else that children cannot learn on their own.”

India: Hole in the WallGreenstar)

The children didn’t know what a “File” means, but they knew that if you clicked it, you could save and load your pictures. Some didn’t even know what a “computer” is, but their creativity and curiousity more than made up for it. Another interesting quote from Mitra: “only reaction we got from adults was, ‘What on earth is this for? Why is there no one here to teach us something? How are we ever going to use this?’ I contend that by the time we are 16, we are taught to want teachers, taught that we cannot learn anything without teachers.”