Sugata Mitra--an acclaimed education researcher from India--believes children can teach one another, bypassing the traditional "top down" method in which teachers lead a class. He terms his approach SOLE--an acronym for Self Organized Learning Environments.
He began experimenting with what he calls his "Hole in the Wall" in 1999. In rural villages and large cities, from New Delhi to Milan and beyond, Mitra installs a computer in a wall and instructs children to figure out how to use the computer on their own.
Many of Mitra's peers call his results astounding. In all of his case studies, children have proven his hunch that left alone with one instruction--"Teach yourselves how to use the computer"--the children do exactly that.
He cites one anecdote; after leaving a computer with children in Britain, he returns several months later and asks,"What did you learn?"
The response speaks volumes.
"Apart from the fact that improper replication of the DNA molecule causes genetic disease, we've understood nothing else."