Hacking education V: opening minds

Results of the investment forum

Let's open our minds, I say those of adults because children have them open as a matter of course. The problem is that children's minds are closed from the age of six onwards until, at the age of twenty-two, they are as closed or even more closed than ours.
Yes, six years is the time when our children enter an educational system still based on memorization and repetition, where the teacher has all the knowledge and transfers it to the student at the rate of a few drops per hour. Every so often the teacher measures the amount of knowledge that the student still has inside him. That is, if I have given you ten liters of mathematics and when I am going to measure you, you still have seven, then you get a grade of seven points out of ten. A system inherited from the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century. Only our learning is not industrializable because we are not machines or banks.
Children are children, not fools
Do the experiment of talking to a five-year-old about a programming language. You can use the book that Guido, the ex-Google who created Python, made to teach children to taming of snakes. Tell him that machines speak a language, like he speaks Spanish, for example the Arduino speaks processing, a variant of Java, but arduino can also understand Python just like El Niño understands English. You will be surprised.
Breaking taboos

A year and a half ago, at the I Iniciador Kids, I set out to break the taboo that children are not supposed to talk about money. I will make an autobiographical aside here. I was lucky enough to study chemistry in Oviedo between 1994 and 1998; in the two specialties I studied, analytical and organic, we had a lot of resources, especially in the latter.
One afternoon of organic practices I was doing my experiments without paying too much attention to them. Out of curiosity I looked at the catalog of products we were using and saw that I had put 150,000 pesetas (900€) in that flask. No one had warned me of the huge cost of all that, I felt as stupid as a chimpanzee putting a wrench in the engine of a Rolls Royce.
I was saying that in 2011 in Rada I decided to break the money taboo with the children and I made an investment forum with sugus, although I started by putting numbers to companies and products that they already knew; if you invested one euro in the winner you would get 30€, if you put it in the second one it would become 20€, if it was in the third one 10€, and if you invested in the fourth to fifth classified you would lose it. Those were the rules and I presented the five cases. And they invested their three euros, although in a couple of cases they kept one euro without investing. I was surprised by the social orientation of their reasoning and their prudence in many cases. The truth is that the choice of which companies to put their euro in portrayed each guy better than a camera. Once we understood the results, we turned the investments around to see them from a social perspective and we were all surprised. Not only were they not shocked, but some of them still thankfully remind me of it today.

Let's open minds, starting with those of teachers.


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