Currently Reading: The Next Steve Jobs From Wired Magazine

Lithograph showing a portrait of the German ma...

Lithograph showing a portrait of the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss at the age of 50 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I picked up the November issue of Wired Magazine and on the cover was a Mexican girl with the title: The Next Steve Jobs. The article was tremendous in opening my eyes to the potential that education can provide if we will explore possibilities instead of thinking what has worked in the past will work now. The article explores, in my mind, a totally new way in which to teach by giving children little or no instruction. This quote from page 160 explains:

Evolutionary psychologists have also begun exploring this way of thinking. Peter Gray, a research professor at Boston College who studies children’s natural ways of learning, argues that human cognitive machinery is fundamentally incompatible with conventional schooling. Gray points out that young children, motivated by curiosity and playfulness, teach themselves a tremendous amount about the world. And yet when they reach school age, we supplant that innate drive to learn with an imposed curriculum. ‘We’re teaching the child that his questions don’t matter, that what matters are the questions of the curriculum. That’s just not the way natural selection designed us to learn. It designed us to solve problems and figure things out that are a part of our real lives.'”

I was absolutely astonished by this problem solving question that Juarez Correa, the teacher, used to motivate his class and his top student, Paloma Noyola Bueno. From page 162:

“To test her limits, he challenged the class with a problem he was sure would stump her. He told the story of Carl Friedrich Gauss, the famous German mathematician, who was born in 1777. When Gauss was a schoolboy, one of his teachers asked the class to add up every number between 1 and 100. It was supposed to take an hour, but Gauss had the answer almost instantly. “Does anyone know how he did this?” Juarez Correa asked. A few students started trying to add up the numbers and soon realized it would take a long time. Paloma, working with her group, carefully wrote out a few sequences and looked at them for a moment. Then she raised her hand. “The answer is 5,050,” she said. “There are 50 pairs of 101.”

I must admit that I do not have words for this. This article is a must read for anyone interested in the future of education.

 

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One thought on “Currently Reading: The Next Steve Jobs From Wired Magazine

  1. Pingback: Review Of The Next Steve Jobs From The November 2013 Issue Of Wired Magazine | Consilient Interest Review

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