Minimally Invasive Education

Hole in the wall

Children in groups will learn on their own with little or no input from others, provided the learning environment induces an adequate level of curiosity. This is the hypothesis behind the successful experiment “Hole in the Wall”.

What would happen if we provide poor illiterate children from the slum areas with unrestricted access to computer? How will they react?

Dr. Sugata Mitra the man behind the executed his plan by cutting a hole in his wall and exposing a computer to the children through this hole.

To every one’s surprise the children developed a curiosity within 30 minutes and started experimenting with the computer and soon they taught themselves how to use the computer. The children learnt basic PC operations like opening a folder, opening files, using paintbrush – all by themselves. All of a sudden one child will discover something and then it will share the finding with other children.

What is really amazing is most of these children are illiterate and they can’t even read english. The user interface for the PCs were are all in English and not in any of the local (Indic) languages.

Amazing research .. is n’t it? This experiment not only gives us a few pointers on taking education to poor and under-privileged masses, but also makes me ponder why some studnets in the University are struggling?