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interview

"We have to move from being consumers to producers of knowledge"


Sugata Mitra

- Education

- Sep 26 2016

Sodexo’s 50th Anniversary marks a unique opportunity to explore the future of Quality of Life. A few days ahead of an event rich of exchanges and open to innovation, our four international experts share their views on Quality of Life for tomorrow.


Sugata Mitra

Professor of Educational Technology, Newcastle University

The theme of our 50th anniversary celebration is "Imagine Quality of Life." Give us a glimpse into how you will address this topic at the conference.

I intend to talk about a world where “knowing” is obsolete, replaced by a near infinite 'menu' of things we can learn when we need to learn them. A life where the first seventeen years are not spent memorizing things just in case we ever need them. 

What kind of progress would you like to see in terms of Quality of Life for young learners?

The current system of examining children in schools has a negative impact on their Quality of Life. Examinations produce stress and enhance threat perception. We know from neuroscience that when our limbic brain – an ancient part of our brain in evolutionary terms sometimes called the “lizard brain” – perceives threat, it shuts off our higher cognitive functions in the pre-frontal cortex, or the part behind our foreheads related to abstract thought. So, in an exam, we are effectively shutting the brain down and asking children to perform! It’s time to bring in news ways of learning.

What do you see as the biggest Quality of Life challenge for the future? What innovation can help meet this challenge?

We have to move from being consumers to producers of knowledge. We will work to create, not to earn - in a world where living well will be almost free of cost.


 

View Sugata Mitra's biography

Watch the LIVE of the conference on Sodexo's 50th anniversary and the Future of Quality of Life on 4 October 2016 from 18:00 (GMT+2) on sodexo.com.

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