Holding a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, Sugata Mitra retired in 2019 as Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, England, after working there for thirteen years (including a year in 2012 as Visiting Professor at MIT MediaLab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA). He is Professor Emeritus at NIIT University, Rajasthan, India, and a trustee of the Montessori Group, UK.
In 1999, he conducted the Hole in the Wall (HIW) experiment, which consisted of a computer being embedded within a wall in an Indian slum in Delhi and children being allowed to freely use it. The experiment aimed at proving that kids could be taught to use computers very easily without any formal training. Sugata termed this as Minimally Invasive Education (MIE). The experiment has since been repeated in many places. In England, he developed his ideas into Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLE) and finally into Schools in the Cloud.
"If a group of children find a question they think is important, they will search for an answer. On the Internet, this will usually result in finding good information. Groups of children, in the presence of good information, will discuss possible answers. Most of the time, such a process results in the emergence of good answers. A by-product of this process is learning."
We have adopted elements of choice, ownership and engagement which come from the Self Organised Learning Enviroment into our curriculum learning at Hazeldown.