Learning at the Edge of Chaos - Self-Organising Systems in Education


This book chapter takes stock of the evolution of the current primary education model and the potential afforded by current technology and its effects on children. It reports the results of experiments with self-organising systems in primary education and introduces the concept of a SOLE. It then describes how SOLEs operate and discusses the implications of the physics of complex systems and their possible connection with self-organised learning amongst children.

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What happens if students are asked to learn Geography content, specifically population, through SOLE?


Published in The Journal of Educational Alternatives, this paper by Sally Rix and Stephan McElwee describes the potential of a Self-Organised Learning Environment (SOLE) to increase engagement and learning in a low achievement cohort of Year 8 pupils in a secondary school in England. This paper discusses the strengths and limitations of SOLE in this context and describes significant improvements in learning generated by effective peer support from Sixth Form mediators.

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SOLE Meets MOOC: Designing infrastructure for online self-organised learning with a social mission


This paper was presented at the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems by Hanna Celina, Ahmed Kharrufa, Anne Preston, Robert Comber and Patrick Olivier. Within, the authors present the design, deployment and evaluation of three configurations of an online learning activity for would-be social innovators and activitists, with the aim of understanding the factors that are critical to the design of an infrastructure to support such communities of learners.

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From Hole in the Wall to School in the Cloud


In this book chapter, Sugata Mitra presents an engaging and accessible history of the SOLE methodology. This chapter discusses the key ideas at the heart of SOLEs, including minimally invasive education, the role of technology in the modern world and the issues of quality education in remote areas. The chapter goes on to trace the evolution of Mitra’s research –

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Riding Tandem: An organic and collaborative approach to research in vocational education and training


This study explored the use of the internet in peer-to-peer learning environments within vocational education and training to investigate whether this approach could replace traditional teaching and learning. Within this paper, Cathy Ellis, Alec Dyer and Dominic Thompson, outline the process, results and reflections on conducting SOLE research within a vocational further education context.

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The Future of Schooling: Children and learning at the edge of chaos


This paper describes the effect that assistive technologies, including the Internet, have on pedagogy. It reports the results of experiments with SOLEs within primary education and describes their possible effects on primary education in remote areas. Within this article, Sugata Mitra discusses the self-organising system as a technical term in mathematics and physics and describes how this concept can be applied to the self-organised learning amongst children.

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Effectiveness of Self-Organised Learning by Children: Gateshead Experiments


This paper, by Sugata Mitra and Emma Crawley, details the findings from some of the first experiments with SOLE in UK classrooms. These experiments took place over three years, from 2009 to 2011 in an urban primary school in North East England. Highlights from these experiments that are discussed within this paper,

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Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs) in an English School: an example of transformative pedagogy?


This paper considers the theoretical contexts and challenges of SOLEs within schools, discussing issues of innovation and transformation informed by the ideas of Bernstein, Engestrom and Girioux. This analysis, featuring detailed feedback from teachers involved in the Gateshead Experiments, argues that the SOLE concept has the potential to offer a divergent,

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Beyond the Hole in the Wall - Discover the Power of Self Organised Learning


This digestible eBook by Sugata Mitra, published by TED as part of their series of small books on big ideas, is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in Self-Organised Learning. It offers a comprehensive discussion of the main ideas behind SOLE and elaborates on how to integrate the method into any classroom.

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Children and the Internet - A Preliminary Study in Uruguay


This paper reports the results of experiments carried out in schools across Montevideo, Uraguay. These experiments, led by Sugata Mitra and Mabel Quiroga (now leading SOLE Argentina), investigated the effects of laptop access on children’s ability to read, understand, search and analyse information. The children worked in groups using the internet to answer ‘deep questions’.

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The Hole in the Wall Experiments


The papers listed in this section are all related to the predecessor to SOLE – the Hole in the Wall Experiments. These experiments, designed by Professor Sugata Mitra whilst working in India, involved placing computers in public places for children to freely use.

The results of these experiments led to the development of Mitra’s theories on Minimally Invasive Education and Self-Organised Learning Environments.

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