[Edu-sig] Shuttleworth Summit

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Sun Apr 23 07:34:25 CEST 2006

> Hundreds of years ago, most kids learned what they needed to know from
> family and community, though some wealthy people had one-on-one tutors for
> their kids. The notion of sticking a bunch of kids the same age together
> in a room and expecting them to all learn the same thing at the same time
> is only in the last century or so, and it is clearly not how children
> learn best, since kids are ready to grasp ideas at very unpredictable
> times. It is a waste of a child's and a teacher's time to try before they
> are ready -- whether reading, writing, arithmetic, or other things, but
> that waste is exactly what an age based curriculum demands. So no
> curriculum, even a "bottom-up" one that expects kids to learn something in
> a specific year (let alone in a specific month or day) is going to be good
> for kids overall.

However, this assumption was not explicitly made a part of the TSF
initiative as I recall.

Some of the homeschooling literature may need updating in light of the
fact that a room outfitted with computers is not necessarily the
setting for any "one size fits all" curriculum.

In point of fact, as a learner ready to explore prime numbers a little
more, it's up to me to sweep through the repository (yes Andre,
somewhat mythical at this point) and pull up lesson plans relevant to
my needs and tools (e.g. I want to use Python).

OK, so I find this lesson/tutorial and start exploring Fermat's Little
Theorem as applied to public key cryptography.  I'm 15.  In the
meantime, there's this 15 year old next to me who is gaga for fish,
and spends hours studying them.

If she ever wants to learn more about prime numbers, I could show her,
but chances are won't be sharing my new knowledge with anyone in my
class, at least not all of it.  On the other hand, I'd like to know
more about carnivorous fish in the Amazon river...

You see where I'm going with this.

And there's an advantage over homeschooling here, in that if you do
have a shared lab, you can start modeling division of labor and
up-close collaboration more successfully.

You can more easily demonstrate aspects of the network, using the
local subnet.  Pinging and so on.  Less of a lonely endeavour, more
chances to share your enthusiasm for a topic with a classmate.


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