The barefoot college
Ted published an inspirational talk today from Bunker Roy about his barefoot college in India.
It was refreshing to hear that no certificates are awarded and instead skills are taught that improve lives of people in the community. The talk explained how the college had lots to learn from its students who were able to achieve things not conventionally thought possible. What else can we learn from this barefoot college and how can we apply it to western education?
Young people would probably benefit if schools focused more on skills that are required once they enter the real world as opposed to all the rigorous testing they are exposed to. Some under-taught skills such as creativity, collaboration and entrepreneurship would help many students in the modern globalized world they are about to enter. Other skills would be more specific to the student and the local communities needs, like solar electricity and the livestock care examples seen in the video. We could also begin applying the barefoot college’s teacher-student model to our schools. Here more educators would be coming from the local community and businesses instead of universities and peer learning, where students learn from each other, would increase.