Minimally Invasive Education is defined as a pedagogic method that uses the learning environment to generate an adequate level of motivation to induce learning in groups of children, with minimal, or no, intervention by a teacher.
What makes the Minimally Invasive Education approach interesting to me is:
- The context of the initial experiment (1999): teaching basic computer literacy to 7-14 years old children, from urban slums and rural India.
- The social interactions inherently linked to learning in a classroom or equivalent social group.
- And lastly, the study of the extent of what is teachable without the presence of a guide or teacher, even for more advanced topics that are commonly associated with requiring some guidance, such as processes of personal change and self-discovery.
Another interesting bit from the paper:
Typically, educational settings adopt a single pedagogical method, that is, the drill and practice. When a single teaching method is used, a sizeable percentage of these children are likely to fail. Agreeably, it is difﬁcult to encourage a multi-method approach, given the diversity of school-going children. Yet, the results obtained at the MIE LS indicate that young children are open to a variety of learning methods. Each learning method has its signiﬁcant role in the entire process of learning computer skills. It is assumed that a similar template will emerge in other learning situations also. Further research in different contexts will help validate such an assumption.
The different methods analyzed are:
- Observation (39%)
- Peer Leader (35%)
- Trial and Error (9%)
- Verbal / Social (4%)
- Demonstration (4%)
- Rehearsal (3%)
- Outsider help (3%)
- Practice and Drill (3%)
It’s still from a single source and a sample of 250 children, but this quick list seem hinting correctly at the reason why our current school system is shaped in the way it is: observation is the main approach. However, that’s not the only approach.