I am not in education measure, but I am trying to learn somehow since I born, and I am planning to teach as well. So, I think I might tell something about this subject a little bit…
The traditional way of teaching is not effective as Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown said, I agree with that. Also, I agree with what they are saying about creating a learning community and I am sure it works perfectly for most students. But, I think K-12 and college students need a teacher in person anyway. They might need a teacher to direct and help them.
Sam’s example is a good one in the article and it seems a really successful way of teaching. On the other hand, not all of the subjects are suitable to learn with this technique. Or if a child learns certain things with this technique, maybe they can concentrate to one or two specific subjects during a specific time, otherwise, it would be hard to maintain that learning process for more than couple subject for a long time. If we want to replace traditional 45 minutes lecture style with something new, this technique does not seem applicable to all curriculum at the same time.
Also, creating a student-lead learning environment idea might work better than the traditional approach to create a better learning environment in schools. Because each generation is different and begins to be even more different in time. They know what kinds of environment would be better for them not to get bored and help them to learn better.
Motivation and social support are successful tools for creating better environments. Those tools have also been using in health behavior theories to change people’s behaviors. So, being in a social environment affects people’s motivation and ability to change their behaviors and it is really smart to use those in educational settings.
These new ways of learning may not cover every student. For example, I like that interaction between the teacher and me when I am in the process of learning. If I learn by reading, it is so easy to forget, but I can learn easily if somebody teaches me in person. As Robert Talbert said in the conclusion, balance is important to create the most effective learning environment. Lecture is important not only as an information transfer, but also sharing experiences and helping students at some point. On the other hand, activities are important for students to learn the subject better and develop their other skills such as socialization, self-confidence, reaching the information by using an appropriate way, and motivation.