CN

搜索你想知道的

back to Research

Francois Grey: Put Lifelong Learning into Practice

2017-02-27


关注我们,成为终身学习者!


弗朗索瓦·格雷(Francois Grey)日内瓦大学(University of Geneva)全民网络实验室(Citizen Cyberlab)教授清华大学终身学习实验室(TULLL)国际研究主任


祝贺清华大学!祝贺清华大学终身学习实验室(TULLL)正式启动!我作为清华大学终身学习实验室初创时就参与讨论的成员,如今能看到当初一个简单的构想如此迅速地变为了大胆的尝试,我感到非常惊喜——这就像在温暖的春日里看到一棵树上的新芽开出了美丽的花。就我个人而言,我非常期待在清华大学终身学习实验室担任国际研究主任这一角色,并利用我过去几年在清华大学开展的由乐高基金会资助的一项暑期学校的经验,去实现一个对我而言非常重要的目标:把“终身学习”从一句口号变为一门科学。同时,让科学不再是专家的精英式的尝试,而成为包括孩子在内的每一个人都可以投身其中的事情。


儿童科学家

我上面说的这些话是什么意思呢?好吧,让我们先拿一个孩子举例。提醒你一下,这还不是随便一个孩子,而是一个正好在整整120年前出生的孩子。当这个孩子11岁的时候,他在对自然世界的好奇心的驱使下,发表了第一篇科学论文,研究了一种稀有的麻雀。当他15岁的时候,他已经发表了数篇重要的论文,研究的是他当时的兴趣所在——贝类。有些不知道那些论文的作者年龄的人还给他写信,把他当成了教授和研究软体动物的权威。当我们听到这样一个儿童科学家的故事时,我们的反应自然是惊讶于这个孩子的早慧。但其实,这没有什么值得惊讶的。因为从出生的那一刻起,所有的孩子就都是科学家。在17世纪时伽利略提出的科学研究方法,成为了后来现代科技突飞猛进的支撑,但其实它不过是基于一个简单的循环:收集数据,提出理论,收集更多的数据,检验理论。当一个小孩子在探索她身边的世界时,她就在不停地在使用这种动手实践的方法,去理解这个世界是如何运行的。然而,在从孩子长成大人的漫长路途中,我们往往丢失了这种本是与生俱来的、出于好奇心去探索和理解世界的习惯。取而代之,我们机械地记忆那些已知的事实,以便于通过考试、胜过同伴。纵然,书本可以提炼出很多知识,为我们省下来不少时间,免得我们去大费周折地重复前人早已完成的工作;而教师可以分享他的智慧,这些智慧如果我们仅凭自己亲身实践去获得,会很慢也很困难。然而,这种以“做”来“学”的方法,还是有着巨大的心理学上的好处,它可以让我们对学到的已知事实进行批判性的思考。而这,正是科学研究方法在日常中的体现。 第一位试图确立动手学习在心理学方面的深刻的重要性的人,正是我们上面所说的这个刚好在整整120年前出生的儿童科学家。他的名字叫让·皮亚杰(Jean Piaget)。这位瑞士科学家在日内瓦大学度过了他大部分的职业生涯,而日内瓦大学正是我现在工作的地方。让·皮亚杰开创了儿童发展心理学,正是在这一理论的启发下,我们有了清华大学终身学习实验室的各种活动。因此,在这个重要的诞辰纪念日,我们值得回顾一下皮亚杰在他的时代对于教育都说了什么。“学校教育的主要目标,应该是培养人们去尝试做新的事情,而不是仅仅重复前代已经做过的事情;让人们拥有去创造、发明、发现的能力,能够去批判、去查证,而不是对呈现在面前的一切都简单地接受。” 如果这样的说法听起来与我们现代所提倡的理念惊人相似,那是因为动手学习和受好奇心驱动的学习至今还依然只是个特例,而不是教育的普世原则——尽管让·皮亚杰的研究已经深刻地影响了这一领域的几代研究者,这其中就包括西摩·佩珀特(Seymour Pappert),麻省理工学院媒体实验室(MIT Media Lab)的联合创始人。我们如今一再强调新的科技手段(比如互联网和智能手机)怎样深刻地改变了教育,然而让·皮亚杰的远见却一直被人遗忘着。


值得庆贺的夏天

我从2013年起在清华大学组织国际暑期学校,这是由“终身学习进行时”(lifelong learning in action)精心设计的实验。该活动把欧洲和中国的大学生聚集起来,让他们和高中生、初中生一起,为动手科学学习、网上科学学习开发新的工具。




图1:2013年第一届LEGO2NANO暑期学校里,清华大学和伦敦大学学院(University College London)的学生在搭建原子力显微镜(atomic force microscope, “AFM”)的样机。他们面对的挑战是:在成本不超过1000美元的前提下,用乐高和低成本消费型电子器件,搭建一台原子力显微镜,可以让学校里的孩子们使用。


通过这样跨年龄段的创新活动,我希望向孩子们再一次展示怎样“动手玩科学”(the hands-on experience of doing science)——不局限于单纯的课本上的练习,而是去真正地做研究,这会给他们带来巨大影响。此外,我还希望去探索年轻人如何在彼此之间互相学习,这种学习往往发生在不同的年龄段之间,借助了互联网,有着潜移默化的影响。


今年夏天,为了纪念让·皮亚杰的120周年诞辰,我计划与清华大学终身学习实验室以及其他一些欧洲和中国的大学合作,把暑期学校的举办时间从几周延长至几个月。我还计划重新设计暑期学校的活动内容,使之更加适合清华大学终身学习实验室在动手学习和在线学习方面进行长期研究。


我受到联合国可持续发展目标(the UN Sustainable Development Goals, “SDGs”)的启发,希望让学生能不仅仅设计并亲自动手做出各种新奇的学校用科学设备,还能思考如何让这些科学设备为孩子们所用,去做一些重要的研究。 伴随着联合国可持续发展目标,各国政府也已经提出了一项重要的诉求——如何应对未来15年内人类将会面临的一些重大问题。这都是一些对于我们这个世界来说十分紧急、甚至性命攸关的问题,而将会去应对这些问题的那一代人,现在就正在学校里。再一次地,让·皮亚杰超前于他的时代,说出了这样的话:“只有教育可以让我们的社会免于可能发生的崩塌,无论这一过程是激烈的,还是缓和的。”


今年夏天,我们的活动将始于日内瓦的暑期学校,随后,各队的学生们将在联合国组织实习。最后,他们将来到清华大学终身学习实验室,和学校里的孩子们一起,检验他们自己动手制作的科学项目,并将在中国巨大的制造业基地——深圳,探索如何制造出低成本仪器。如果你想了解更多,或者甚至也想申请加入,你可以在即将上线的清华大学终身学习实验室的官方网站上了解相关信息,或者点击以下链接注册:https://www.genevasummerschools.ch/courses/courses-2016/crowdsourcing-sustainable-development

原文:

Putting Lifelong Learning into PracticeCongratulations to Tsinghua University and to the TULLL team on the official opening of the beautiful new lifelong learninglab at Tsinghua University. As someone who has been involved from the very beginning of discussions that led to TULLL, it is amazing to see a simple idea evolve so quickly into a major initiative – like seeing a bud on a tree opening out into a beautiful flower on a warm spring day. For my part, I look forward to my role of Director for International Research at TULLL, and building on the experience I have gained over the last few years running an international summer school at Tsinghua with the support of the LEGO Foundation, to achieve a goal that really matters to me: transforming lifelong learning from a slogan into a science.And transforming science from an elite endeavor for professionals to something everyone, including children can contribute to. The child scientist What do I mean by that? Well, consider a child. Not just any child, mind you, but one particular child who was born exactly 120 years ago. By the time that child was 11, driven by his own curiosity about the natural world, he published his first scientific paper about a rare type of sparrow. By the age of 15, he had published several important papers about his passion at the time, shellfish. People who did not realize the age of the author wrote to him, assuming he was a professor and major authority on mollusks. When we hear about such a child scientist, our natural reaction is surprise at his precociousness. But really, that should not be so surprising. Because from birth, all children are scientists. The scientific method that Galileo introduced in the 17th century, and that underpins the dramatic rise of the modern technological world, is based on a simple loop: gather data, make theory, gather more data, test theory. As a young child explores the world around her, she continuously uses this hand-on approach to understand how that world works. Yet somewhere along the way from childhood to adulthood, we tend to lose this natural, curiosity-driven way of exploring and understanding the world, replacing it with rote learning of facts to pass tests and impress peers. For sure, books can distill much knowledge and save us a lot of time by not re-inventing wheels. Teachers can share wisdom that is slow and hard to acquire by experience. But the method of learning-by-doing has a powerful psychological benefit in terms of developing critical thinking about the facts we are taught. It is the everyday embodiment of the scientific method. The person who first attempted to formalize the deep psychological importance of hands-on learning was that same child scientist who was born 120 years ago. His name was Jean Piaget, and this Swiss researcher, who spent the majority of his career at the University of Geneva where I am now based, founded the field of child developmental psychology that inspires the activities of TULLL. So on this important birthday, it’s worth considering what Piaget had to say about education in his own time.  “The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.”  If that sounds strikingly modern, it is a reminder that althoughPiaget’s work profoundly influenced generations of researchers in this field, including Seymour Pappert, co-founder of MIT Media Lab, hands-on and curiosity-driven education is still the exception, not the rule. And even though grand claims are being made for how new technologies like the Web and smart phones are changing education profoundly, still Piaget’s vision remains elusive. A summer of celebration The international summer schools I have run at Tsinghua University since 2013 are deliberate experiments in new forms of lifelong learning in action[1] that bring University students from Europe and China together, to work alongside high school students and middle schools students and collaboratively develop new tools for hands-on and online science learning.
Figure 1: Students from Tsinghua University and University College Londin building prototypes of an atomic force microscope (AFM) during the first LEGO2NANO summer school in 2013. The students were given a challenge: build an AFM suitable for children in schools, at a cost of less than $1000, using LEGO and low-cost consumer electronics. Through this inter-generational approach to innovation, I want to re-introduce children to the hands-on experience of doing science[2], inspired not just by simple textbook exercises, but by real research that can make an impact on their world. And I want to explore the ways that young people learn from each other, informally, across generations and over the internet. This summer, to mark Piaget’s 120th anniversary, I plan to work with the TULLL team as well as with other colleagues in Europe and China, to extend the summer school experience from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. I plan to redesign the summer schools to feed results directly into longer-term research in both hands-on and online learning that will take place at TULLL. I plan to involve the students not just in the design of novel DIY scientific instruments for schools, but in thinking through how those instruments can be used by children to contribute to important research, inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With the SDGs, governments have launched a major quest to tackle some of the greatest problems facing mankind over the next 15 years. These are very urgent, even existential problems for our world, and the generation that is going to tackle them is in school right now. Again, Piaget was ahead of his time when he said “Only education is capable of saving our societies from possible collapse, whether violent, or gradual." The summer will start with a summer school in Geneva. Then teams of students will do internships with UN organizations. Finally the students will move to TULLL to work with schoolchildren on testing their DIY science project, and explore how to produce the low-cost instruments in China’s giant maker space, Shenzhen. If you want to know more about it, or even apply to join, you can read about it on the TULLL website or sign up here.


         

微信扫一扫

清华大学终生学习实验室微信公众号
欢迎关注!