"Juárez Correa didn’t know it yet, but he had happened on an emerging
educational philosophy, one that applies the logic of the digital age to
the classroom. That logic is inexorable: Access to a world of infinite
information has changed how we communicate, process information, and
think. Decentralized systems have proven to be more productive and agile
than rigid, top-down ones. Innovation, creativity, and independent
thinking are increasingly crucial to the global economy.
And yet the dominant model of public education is still fundamentally
rooted in the industrial revolution that spawned it, when workplaces
valued punctuality, regularity, attention, and silence above all else.
(In 1899, William T. Harris, the US commissioner of education,
celebrated the fact that US schools had developed the 'appearance of a
machine,' one that teaches the student “to behave in an orderly manner,
to stay in his own place, and not get in the way of others.”) We don’t
openly profess those values nowadays, but our educational system—which
routinely tests kids on their ability to recall information and
demonstrate mastery of a narrow set of skills—doubles down on the view
that students are material to be processed, programmed, and
quality-tested. School administrators prepare curriculum standards and 'pacing guides' that tell teachers what to teach each day. Legions of
managers supervise everything that happens in the classroom; in 2010
only 50 percent of public school staff members in the US were teachers."
"That’s why 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. 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.
At home in Matamoros, Juárez Correa found himself utterly absorbed by
these ideas. And the more he learned, the more excited he became. On
August 21, 2011—the start of the school year — he walked into his
classroom and pulled the battered wooden desks into small groups. When
Paloma and the other students filed in, they looked confused. Juárez
Correa invited them to take a seat and then sat down with them."
This is definitely an intriguing method of teaching. I hope research proves it beyond doubt, and we're smart enough to implement it.