Angel or devil? The strange case of Sugata Mitra

Jeremy Harmer

Last Saturday Sugata Mitra gave a plenary at an international teachers’ conference. When it was over a proportion of the audience gave him a standing ovation, but an equal number refused to get to their feet and a proportion of the ‘remaining seated’ crowd expressed outrage and fury at what they had heard and seen. He was an angel. He was a devil. You can watch the plenary in question here, and you can read Graham Stanley’s careful response here.

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I have blogged about Sugata Mitra before in reference to his TED talk – and his plenary at the IATEFL 2014 conference over a year later was not significantly different from his TED appearance. And back then, like most speakers at TED conferences, Mitra was encouraged speak passionately and idealistically about something he believes in – and something which promotes technology’s ability to answer all problems – and…

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