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Big ideas, complex systems, and empathetic curiosity
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“We sometimes talk as if ‘original research’ were a peculiar prerogative of scientists or at least of advanced students. But all thinking is research, and all research is native, original, with him who carries it on, even if everybody else in the world already is sure of what he is still looking for.” - John Dewey, Democracy and Education
Hey Ambily! I really like the SOLE concept, and I'd be eager to see what recent research Sugata Mitra has produced since winning the TED prize.
Two shorts questions to add: (1) How can we begin to rethink finance (especially personal finance) and turn it into one of these "big questions" worth exploring? (2) What if we took the Review and Share phases you outlined above and made the process circular (or spiraling to be more exact I guess)? More specifically, what if, in an attempt to make the exploration process more rigorous and the outcome more meaningful, we had the students, after they all shared their findings with one another, vote on which group had the most interesting or complex or (insert adjective here) results, and after doing so, they re-entered the research phase, compounding their learning and honing in on specific insights to get a more comprehensive understanding of these really foundational (though sometimes unintuitve) ideas of money management and financial literacy?
Hey Andre, please do share your draft with me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)! I think the Methodkit products (and principles) are intriguing; however, I wonder how we could expand their reach and bring in broader appeal past those who can self-identify their need for such a tool or guiding principle.
Perhaps a partial answer could be found if we try to design a series of questions that pique their curiosity or entice them with statements of their potential (e.g. "Help build the future of your community", etc.) and then integrate the Methodkit tools and principles to help them find a solution. Ironically, or perhaps not, it's a very similar idea to OpenIDEO itself, though applied to a specific context and supported with tools used to develop a deep understanding of finance and economic principles.
Hey Meena, this is really cool! The first thing that came to my mind was a game called StarPower (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StarPower_%28game%29) that I took part in during LeaderShape, an annual leadership conference for college students.
While this classroom experiment introduces some basic concepts, I wonder how it could be supplemented or developed into a curriculum that follows students (or, better yet, that students develop) through their ordinary trajectory from primary to secondary, etc. By helping them gradually explore more complex concepts in financial literacy, especially those associated with entrepreneurship, social mobility, credit, etc., we may see a profound difference in their post-grad decision making and experiences.
Some food for thought: How could this kind of engagement be paired with an exploration of community values, rule setting, and general empathy-rich concepts? How can we encourage outside community members to get involved, like elders and parents?