New Internationalist

The Place Of Learning

April 1983

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EDUCATION [image, unknown] A brief photo tour

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The place of learning

Material resources and classroom conditions play a large part in learning. When resources are scarce and conditions bad the quality of teaching suffers. For school kids in Pakistan of Ghana paper and pencils, desks, chairs and black boards are luxuries. The idea of more sophisticated materials is fantasy, the teacher is the only resource. But minimal resources can be more than adequate if they are important to the needs of the learners – and if student motivation is high and teaching appropriate. Literacy classes in Nicaragua seldom have more in the way of resources than a teacher, a blackboard and cheaply produced textbooks. But success rates are dramatic.

In the West educational resources are less of a problem. In fact blackboards, pencils and pens are fast becoming obsolete as education enters the computer age. These kids are learning skills which are as revolutionary in industrialised countries as literacy is for many learners in the Third World. In both cases the skills they are learning are often beyond the grasp of their parents.


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This article was originally published in issue 122

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