I am a Ph.D. student in computer science, programming since I was 15 years old.
I am currently teaching and developing new ways of learning independently, applied especially to programming and computational thinking.
It is my goal to eventually take the teacher out of the equation, and work toward dynamically organized p2p learning. I don't believe that people (no matter their age) need teachers to learn. We don’t need teachers to learn to walk, and we don’t need (or at least we shouldn’t need) teachers to keep progressing after we leave school. People need curiosity, self-confidence and a great amount of team spirit, more than anything else, in order to eventually (hopefully soon) be able to manage themselves and progress on their own.
I conjecture that such a learning environment can allow for faster mental and emotional growth than any teacher-controlled environment would allow. Ideally, the teacher role should be reduced to a mentor position, encouraging students, helping students practice and improve their learner and problem solving skills, create opportunities and kickstart their independent learner network. This “learner network” ideally should also include wholehearted experts, interested in helping those who can benefit from their expertise. Once such a network reaches a certain size and maturity, I conjecture that no more teachers or any sort of top-down structure will be necessary for it to keep growing and improving.
There are many great obstacles lying ahead, but I believe that it boils down to two major challenges: 1) Mindset (curiosity, self-confidence, team spirit, compassion, empathy, growth mindset etc.) and 2) Learning strategies (Especially: How to explore vast, open problem and learning spaces together efficiently?)
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Nov 7 '14