TED Conversations

Juliette LaMontagne

Founder & Managing Director, Breaker


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What are the advantages/disadvantages of learning models that exist outside of traditional educational institutions?

With the growing number of alternative learning pathways and opportunities to better serve the needs of individual students, what's working best? And what can we learn from the failures and tensions? Where and how have the models in the margins effectively disrupted the status quo?

I'll add to the conversation my current initiative, Breaker - driving alternative learning and social innovation by mobilizing interdisciplinary teams of young creative collaborators to design product solutions to global challenges.

This Live Conversation will start on Feb. 15, 2012, 1:00pm EST/ 10:00am PST


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  • Feb 15 2012: I believe the current learning system is most certainly outdated. It is out of context, out of contact with the needs and interests of children (and parents) and is not viable on the long run as it has a low capacity of creating versatile, creative human beings. The sole reason for its standing in place is its economical efficiency (we must admit that literacy has greatly increased in the recent period of history). It however shows its limits even in this area, as mr. Sugata Mitra proved, especially in very poor areas. Some friends and I have started developing an organisation that will create learning programs for 6-10 yrs. old children in the shape of interactive, hands-on workshops for kids. We plan to discretely blend the academic curricula in workshops centered around building-construction-architecture. We seek the greatest degree of activity involving all the children senses, movement, thinking and intuitive learning. We find great inspiration in the words of people such as Sir Ken Robinson or Sugata Mitra as well as Maria Montessori. We have started with a repetitive workshop in which children build a realistic house. We were fascinated with the degree of interest and involvement of the children when they are in a situation of learning new things using their entire being. Would be greatly interested in knowing people involved in such projects or that have the background and interest of developing such programs.

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