Sugata Mitra won the TED Prize this year and his acceptance talk was interesting. His main point was that education isn’t broken, in fact it’s very good at doing what it was designed for (creating standardised bureaucrats in an age of empire), it’s just not very well suited to the needs of a modern economy or society.
The implication is that the way we measure attainment is very misleading. It enables ministers and columnists to keep arguing for a Victorian approach and to be honest it probably is the best way of getting young people through Victorian exams.
Mitra thinks that young people learn best when they teach themselves and he’s been experimenting with different ways of helping them self-organise their own learning. Educationalists will argue about whether Mitra’s approach is the best one but I think he’s probably in the right area. I hope more people keep exploring it.