TED Conversations

Sanket Gupta

Design Engineer, Marvell Semiconductor

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How can a common man participate in "revolutionizing" education?

Having spoken in TED in 2006 about how schools kill creativity, Sir Ken Robinson returned in 2010 to urge everyone to revolutionize education. He said about how we take a "fast-food" approach to deliver educated products out of the system. However, in order to really use the enormous depths of human talent, we will need to take an "organic" approach to education. We need revolution and not evolution.

So, How do we actually achieve revolution? Are there any concrete examples of schools/ colleges which do not follow the "fast-food" approach? Are there ways in which a common man can participate in "revolutionizing" education?
I am sure this is a question which commonly haunts everyone among us. But, what we lack is a coordinated set of actions to make a change. How do we do it?


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    Nov 29 2011: I have always felt one teacher, 20 or more students of same age, was not the best way. I feel if the class were divided into 6 grades, the teacher could teach from the top down. The kids are all teachers. The kids could learn at different levels. The kids may feel more comfortable expressing difficult area to someone who recently had the same hurdle and hear how they made it through. Every time a student helps another learn something, they would be reinforcing the lesson in their minds. The teacher would then be able to concentrate on individual students. I saw a TED lecture where the lecturer told of his experience with computers teaching kids without a teacher. One computer four pupils.

    I have my own big plan for changing education. It involves providing a means for virtual learning to the poorest on the planet. See me.
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      Nov 29 2011: What you are describing in the beginning already exists in the organization of a Montessori classroom. You'll always get 3to6 or 6to9 (etc) year-olds in the same group, the oldest sharing with the youngest what they already master in terms of learning. It's a beautiful and enriching experience for any child to get to be the teacher.
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        Nov 30 2011: I think as more inputs for data increase, the real problem of learning becomes as with our senses, a matter of limiting input. Narrowing and focus become crucial. Also determining if information is current and correct. I have been aware of the need for a way to rate information for validity for some time now. I feel there should be a way for people to know when inputting information (whether for pleasure or study) if the information is accurate, without doing major research. A little meter in corner of display showing validity against known facts.

        My big plan is to actually provide a home with access to internet for any individual on planet. I see this as the first step to the goal of fixing the problems we face. ALL of the problems. Health, mass relocation of populations, utilization of resources, stability of societies, economic growth, redistribution of wealth, and for the inevitable need for growth into the solar system. And hopefully the biggest problem of all, UNITY.

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