Do we need computers in school?

Agree, when this question negatively responsible workers of Silicon Valley, famous for its computer development, it is, at least, seems odd. Yet it is here in California, are working successfully for about forty private, so-called Uoldorfskih, schools, classes that do not meet any of the glowing screen.

One of them, Waldorf School of the Peninsula, located in a small residential town of Los Altos near San Francisco. A vast majority of parents of her students are working in high-tech companies such as Google, Apple, Yahoo, eBay, Hewlett Packard … This school is not only tightly closed its doors for personal computers, but also their pets condemns those who use them, and other digital devices at home.

But what is even more surprising, the children of modern mothers and fathers do not yearn for the ingenious technology. On the other hand, are upset when they see their parents and relatives went crazy with the latest smartphones and other clever video, audio and photo gadgets.

And how not to get upset, even if your cousins the same age do not see you or each other, leaning his eyes in their electronic toys, as they did not pay attention to who came to visit them eleven Oradea Kumkara. He was noticed only after the boy angrily waved his arms and shouted, "Hey, guys, I'm here!"

Does not approve of computers and 10-year-old Finn Heilig, whose father works at Google. Son says that with pen and paper it is easier to monitor its progress over the years, "You can look back and see how clumsy your handwriting was in first grade. With a computer can not do this, it is always the same letter. Also, if you write on paper is not afraid to spill water on the keyboard, or that the house is shut off electricity. "

Why is this and other uoldorfskie school, and their number in the country is growing all the time and have dotiglo 160 computers so shy? The fact is that since the emergence of the first of these institutions about a hundred years ago, they are all based on the principle of "neoperezheniya" child development and try to give him every opportunity for mental and spiritual maturity in his own that belongs only to him pace.

At the equipment of these schools are preferred natural materials, homemade toys and aids, and the educational process focused on physical activity and learning in the process of creative solutions, practical problems.

While other schools in the region brag about their high-tech equipment of classrooms, Waldorf School of the Peninsula uses a simple situation in retro style — the board with colored chalk, bookshelves with encyclopedias, wooden desks with lying to them the usual pencils and textbooks …

Children learn here sculpt, sew, draw, cut out of wood, sewing. And comprehend not only the compulsory subjects such as mathematics or literature, but also music, arts and dance, learn the basics of drama. In doing so, stage performances and participate in concerts.

Those who support this approach believe that computers hinder the development of creative thinking in children, concentration, finally, simple human communication. Yes, they say, with the computer, you can get a huge amount of information. But whether it is necessary schooler? And the answer — is not only unnecessary, but even harmful, because the perception of information — this is not training, but the fact that it interferes with his rule. As one of the most ardent supporters of alternative education, "if the school will not learn, and get information — it will be the end of the world."

The same opinion is held by German scientists have established that the more students use computers at school and at home, the less their advances in the study of languages and mathematics. And the reason is that computers are replaced by other, more effective form of training. These, by the way, can be attributed Uoldorfskuyu educational system. Their findings, researchers from Germany have made based on the study of indicators hundred thousand 15-year-olds in 32 European countries.

Only in Uoldorfskoy school in teaching children mathematical material can offer to "see" him while dancing, sewing or … lunch. Teacher Andy Cathy Waheed, who worked previously as an engineer on the COMPUTER, has struggled to make teaching exciting and alive. To this end, she explained to children arithmetic section "fractions in mathematics" in the case facing them food — apples, pies and other a la carte dishes, dividing them into quarters, halves and sixteenths share.

"In three weeks, we have" eaten "all our way through fractions, — she said. — When I shared the cake into several pieces to get everyone seated at the table, how do you think they could get away with something else? "

Only in Uoldorfskoy school, children learn language skills, standing in a circle while exchanging the ball. And it's not originalnichanie or eccentricity, and the use of effective exercises to develop synchronization of body and brain. Try to do this with your computer. It is unlikely to succeed.

"I strongly disagree with the fact that high school is in need of technological aids — insists Alan Eagle, whose young daughter, Andie, is engaged in elementary school Uoldorfskoy and son — in the same junior high. Arguments in favor of the application on the iPad can quickly teach my kids to read or deal with arithmetic puzzles seem to me ridiculous. "

A dad Alan, having a degree in computer science and working in the department operating systems of Google, knows what he is talking about. For him, the most iPad and smartphone — the usual tools. But his daughter, fifth-grader, he said, "does not know how to use Google», and his son is just learning to deal with this search engine. And that's good, says Mr. Eagle, as "vehicles must have their time and place."

However, it's time to say about the results sought by teachers working in Uoldorfskoy education system. And they, frankly, impressive.

When the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America) are asked to provide proof of the effectiveness of its schools, it points to a study showing that between 1994 and 2004, 94 percent of graduates of its schools in the United States came in such prestigious private Colleges highest level, as Oberlin in Ohio, Vassar in upstate New York, one of the best universities in the country — California, Berkeley.

Of course, you will need to take into account that most of the children enrolled in these private schools come from relatively well-educated families who have the means to pay for training. And it is they are not cheap. Parents of students of such schools Silicon Valley as a school in Los Altos, has annually through eighth grade, inclusive, to pay almost $ 18 thousand for the child, and in recent years in high school (high school), this amount increases to 24-odd thousand .

It is clear that, having at its disposal tools such uoldorfskie schools can attract the best teachers to work. Such, for instance, as already mentioned Cathy Waheed or Monica Laurent, the wife of a former employee of Intel and Microsoft, to which the local school, where they teach their three children, has made such a strong impression that it was one of her teachers.

In addition to high tuition fees, the opponents of the system Uoldorfskoy motivate its rejection of the fact that it is difficult to separate the effectiveness of training methods that do not use high technology, as other factors. You probably need to listen to the arguments and professionals such as director of educational technology at the National Association of School Boards (National School Boards Association) Ann Flynn. "If schools have access to computers, they can provide their students, but do not do it — she says — they deprive our children."

Her parents objected students uoldorfskih schools. Given how easy it is to master the skills to work on the computers, they believe, no need to rush. And they do not agree with the opinion that the people at an early age "weaned" electronic devices will not be able to adapt to them later.

"We try to do this technique so simple and convenient — says Alan Eagle from Google, — there is no doubt — the children easily learn it when they are older."

He is supported by Paul Thomas, a former teacher and an associate professor of Furman University, who has written more than ten books on educational methods. "Education — the mastery of the human experience, — he says. — A technique — a distracting stimulus at a time when we most need of literacy, quantitative and critical thinking. "

A complete discussion can be the following quote: "Computers in schools are only required to solutions of predefined tasks that are difficult or impossible to solve without them." Think about your high school years and think about how many people have you had these problems?

And finally, perhaps the most convincing — uoldorfskih increase in the number of schools around the world. Only in the last thirty years, their number has increased five-fold and reached thousands. This is unlikely to happen if their creators have no confidence in their own right, and the parents — the belief in the right choices for their children.

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