Hole in the Wall-Sugata Mitra.

Posted: December 4, 2010 in e-learning, hole in the wall, Mitra, Sugata

After attending the UK Innovative Education Forum 2010  this week in Manchester I wanted to write this blog and the main the reason I attended the meet, and that was the keynote speech by Professor Sugata Mitra.
“He is the instigator of the Hole in the Wall (HIW) experiment, where in the year 1999 a computer was placed in a kiosk created within a wall in an Indian slum at Kalkaji, Delhi and children were allowed to freely
use ithttp://www.hole-in-the-wall.com/Beginnings.html
The experiment was aimed at proving that kids could be taught by computers, in fact during his talk Prof Mitra quoted Arthur C Clarke saying “those teachers that can be replaced by machines….should be” and the second quote “when learners have interest, learning happens,”.
Sugata termed this learning as Minimally Invasive Education (MIE)  and during the keynote speech he mentioned Self-Organised Learning Environment (SOLE). The experiment has since been repeated at many place.

Key points from Manchester Talk

There are 1 billion children in the world, and of those 750million have inadequate resources, Prof Mitra illustrated this using a Pyramid  and he stated this pyramid exists in both developing and developed world.
He continued by stating that the problems are of  “relevance and problems of resources”. His initial survey looked at the achievements of the students as he moved away from the centre of Dehli, his finding showing that there was a correlation in distance from Delhi and student achievement showing that the further away from the centre of Dehli the poorer the achievement . After several other investigations he concluded that “remoteness and quality of education was correlated to migration of teachers, better teachers want to move to Dehli and get better conditions”. In the UK distribution in the quality of achievement was related to the density of council houses, showing that “the greater the density of council housing  the lower the GCSE scores”, and “the better teachers wanted to work in better areas”. So the reasons for lower achievement in India was geographical whilst in the UK it was social economic factors.

What can we do? The hole in the wall..…..

Summary of  Findings

Sources @

  1. Dan Stucke says:

    I saw Sugata the week before at the SSAT conference- really enjoyed his talk.I'm also wondering how exactly this can translate into our classrooms. I'd like to know more about how much time students should be given for successful self-organised learning. Would a double lesson be sufficent? As ever traditional timetables hamper such things. When I spoke to Sugata he said that key to this was posing the right question in the first place – I'd be interested to hear more on what he thinks to be the right kind of question for pupils to successfully investigate.Lot's more questions! You can see my reflections here: http://www.mrstucke.com/2010/12/02/ssat-nc10-sugata-mitra/

  2. Mark says:

    Thanks for the link, I teach in Further Education 16-19+ and I wonder if his method would translate to older students, Professor Mitra made a reference that the age of "14" being the optimum age for learning to occur. A very interesting study something that should be looked at more extensively.

  3. Cathy says:

    It is very interesting to see how ICT are key for learning process, and how nowadays the teacher in class can develope new secuence of knowledge. The teacher is as importante as the vision they had of getting problems resolved in classroom, in life, in future.

  4. […] and features the thoughts and hopes of several renowned experts and educator including Sugata Mitra, Stepehn Heppel, Daphane Koller and Seth […]

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