Sugatra Mitra presents a model for education that I absolutely love — present students with a problem to solve, a practical challenge that demands to be solved, and then provide them the resources that they need to learn for themselves the skills required to solve the problem. What a great idea–put the students in charge of their own skills development!
I question, though, how effective that would be in certain situations. Can a student become a skilled communicator without feedback and refinement? Can a kid learn organically the relationship between proof and thesis in order to write an effective essay? I wonder.
Still, it’s something I’m going to try to make use of more and more in my lesson planning. Introduce a goal and a problem and provide the tools to solve it–and encourage my students to engineer their own success.