face-to-face with darwin

What will the classroom of the future look like. With MOOCs, iTunes University, and other surrogate content providers changing the nature of how information moves, the classroom will need to be different. I certainly believe flipping will be a major component of the future. But the teacher will only be obsolete if they make themselves so. I’ve become convinced that face-to-face interaction is hardwired into our social genetics as suggested by Patricia Kuhl’s work on infant language acquisition. You can see her TEDTalk below, but the key component is that when 10 month old-babies were offered language instruction in a 2nd language, there was zero effect if done via audio or video recording (Take that, Baby Einstein!). But direct, human, face-to-face engagement had profound effects on learning. The neurological response was equivalent to the children native to that language. This gives hope that education will not simply be downloadable and teachers anachronistic. Evolution has programmed sociability into our genes; no technological nurturing will radically alter our inherent nature to seek and thrive from interaction with one another.

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