What self-directed learning looks like
As a society, we tend to ignore these results. No wonder the kids are happy at school. Some people even believe that the annoyance of school is good for children, so they learn to tolerate discomfort in preparation for real life. But there are many opportunities to learn to tolerate discomfort without adding the unpleasant license plate to the mix. Research has shown that people of all ages learn best when they are motivated, seeking answers to questions that reflect their personal interests and achieve goals they have set for themselves. Under such conditions, learning is generally happy.
Proof of this is obvious to anyone who sees a child go from childhood to school age. Through their own efforts, children learn to walk, run, jump and climb. They do not learn anything from their mother tongue, and they learn to assert their willingness to discuss and have fun teasing, mocking, charming and asking questions. By questioning and exploring, they acquire a great deal of knowledge about the physical and social world around them, and in their play, practice skills that promote their physical, intellectual, social and emotional development. They do all this before someone, systematically, trying to teach them something.
This incredible unity and learning ability does not stop when children reach five or six years. But we put it out with our system of coercive education. The most important and lasting lesson of our system is that learning is work, to avoid as much as possible.
The focus on my own research – I am a professor of psychology at Boston University – was learning in children who have a “school age” but who are not sent to school or school as it is generally understood. I have examined how children learn in cultures that do not have schools, particularly hunter-gatherer companies, whose species has evolved. I also studied learning in our culture by students who have the confidence to support their education. In these contexts, children’s curiosity and natural curiosity persist through adolescence into adulthood.
Another researcher who documented the power of self-directed learning is Sugata Mitra. Teams were shown outside in very poor areas in India, where many children were illiterate and most did not go to school. Wherever he placed such a computer, dozens of children get together and without the help of adults, discovering how to use. Those who could not read began to do so by interacting with the computer and other children around them. Computers have given these young people access to knowledge from all over the world – in a remote village, children who previously knew nothing about microorganisms learned about bacteria and viruses through their interactions with the computer and started To use this new knowledge properly in conversations.
Mithra’s experiments illustrate the form in three essential aspects of human nature: curiosity, joy, and sociability can combine very well to serve education. Curiosity attracted children to the computer and motivated them to explore it; The lucidity motivated them to practice many computer skills; And sociability activate the students to each extended child like gunpowder to the children of other tens.