So that’s a pretty strong comment there. I said schools as we know them now, they’re obsolete. I’m not saying they’re broken. It’s quite fashionable to say that the education system’s broken. It’s not broken. It’s wonderfully constructed. It’s just that we don’t need it anymore. It’s outdated. What are the kind of jobs that we have today? Well, the clerks are the computers. They’re there in thousands in every office. And you have people who guide those computers to do their clerical jobs. Those people don’t need to be able to write beautifully by hand. They don’t need to be able to multiply numbers in their heads. They do need to be able to read. In fact, they need to be able to read discerningly.
“You’ve given us a machine that works only in
English, so we had to teach ourselves English in order to use it.” That’s the first time, as a teacher, that I had heard the word
“teach ourselves” said so casually.
So by now, I had developed a new pedagogical method, so I
applied that. I said, “I haven’t the foggiest idea.” “And anyway, I am going away.”
The method of the grandmother
I said, “Stand behind them. Whenever they do anything,
you just say, ‘Well, wow, I mean, how did you do that? What’s the next page?
Gosh, when I was your age, I could have never done that.’ You know what
So she did that for two more months. The scores jumped to 50
percent. Kallikuppam had caught up with my control school in New Delhi, a rich
private school with a trained biotechnology teacher. When I saw that graph I
knew there is a way to level the playing field.
Encouragement seems to be the key. If you look at Kuppam, if
you look at all of the experiments that I did, it was simply saying,
“Wow,” saluting learning.
I think what we need to look at is
we need to look at learning as the product of educational self-organization. If
you allow the educational process to self-organize, then learning emerges. It’s
not about making learning happen. It’s about letting it happen. The teacher
sets the process in motion and then she stands back in awe and watches as
learning happens. I think that’s what all this is pointing at.
So what’s my wish? My wish is that we design the future of
learning. We don’t want to be spare parts for a great human computer, do we? So
we need to design a future for learning. And I’ve got to — hang on, I’ve got
to get this wording exactly right, because, you know, it’s very important. My
wish is to help design a future of learning by supporting children all over the
world to tap into their wonder and their ability to work together. Help me
build this school. It will be called the School in the Cloud. It will be a
school where children go on these intellectual adventures driven by the big
questions which their mediators put in. The way I want to do this is to build a
facility where I can study this. It’s a facility which is practically unmanned.
There’s only one granny who manages health and safety. The rest of it’s from
the cloud. The lights are turned on and off by the cloud, etc., etc., everything’s
done from the cloud.