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Education Innovation in the Worst Situations

If you're looking for new ideas in education, says financial journalist-turned-innovation consultant Charles Leadbeater, you shouldn't focus on the top: specifically, Finland, which is often touted for having the world's best education system. Rather, Leadbeater argues, often the most dismal situations can result in the most out-of-the-box solutions. He himself has seen them in the favelas of Brazil and the slums of Kenya.

He's met a man who came up with the idea of setting up a communal computer in the entryway to an Indian slum, as well as a Brazilian fellow who has come up with more than 200 games to teach kids any subject imaginable. (One of them uses the process of making soap as, what Leadbeater calls a "technology of learning.")

During this TED London Salon talk, Leadbeater praises a couple American initiatives that we've previously cited on this blog, including the Harlem Children's Zone and Big Picture Learning. The key to these innovations, he says: Pulling people into education, rather than pushing them into it. (via The Huffington Post)

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