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Sunday, 4 May 2014

FROM THREAT OF TEACHING TO PLEASURE OF LEARNING

TED talks on education make me yearn for a brave new world, apparently the opposite of Huxley's negative utopia. I don't like the idea of McDonaldized, homogenized world with hedonistic materialism on top of all values, so I don't quite agree with nowadays educational systems which try to standardize absolutely everything, rising the level of bureaucracy and minimizing the creativeness.

What is more, I feel simultaneously thrilled and horrified with the idea that kids don't even need the teacher to perform greatly with hard science, as you can watch in this TED video based on a simply yet perfidious experiment. It shows that all what kids need are free time, lack of threat, 'granny motivation' and broadband Internet...

'There is evidence from neuroscience. The reptilian part of our brain, which sits in the center of our brain, when it's threatened, it shuts down everything else, it shuts down the prefrontal cortex, the parts which learn, it shuts all of that down. Punishment and examinations are seen as threats. We take our children, we make them shut their brains down, and then we say, "Perform." Why did they create a system like that? Because it was needed. There was an age in the Age of Empires when you needed those people who can survive under threat. When you're standing in a trench all alone, if you could have survived, you're okay, you've passed. If you didn't, you failed. But the Age of Empires is gone. What happens to creativity in our age? We need to shift that balance back from threat to pleasure.'