SOLE for the SOUL

April 22, 2013 - 8 minutes read


“A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer.”
– Author Unknown

The best way to learn is asking questions which are relevant and intelligent. As children grow up, they lose their trait of curiosity about everything. Our education system, stresses on cramming  and suppresses critical thinking and open minded questions. This leads to the suppressed curiosity of the children and in turn results in the loss of their interest. Following this deficiency of education system, and the fact that many children around the globe cannot afford to attend the school, Sugata Mitra initiated Self-Organized Learning Environment, SOLE.

“Education-as-usual assumes that kids are empty vessels who need to be sat down in a room and filled
with curricular content. Dr. Mitra’s experiments prove that wrong.”
– Linux Journal


“My wish is to help design the future of learning by supporting children all over the world, to tap into their innate sense of wonder and work together. I also invite you, wherever you are, to create your own miniature child-driven learning environments and share your discoveries.”
– Sugata Mitra


SOLE is an on-line resource which is designed to help educators and parents, to support kids (8-12 years old) in there learning process, as they tap into their innate sense of wonder and engage in child-driven learning.
Child Driven learning is characterized by the following traits;

  •  Self-organized
  •  Curious
  •  Engaged
  •  Social
  •  Collaborative
  •  Motivated by peer-interest
  •  Fueled by adult encouragement and admiration

SOLE encourages children to; work in groups, develop a sense of team spirit, get engaged in constructive and healthy activities, collaborate and coordinate with each other to find the solutions of assigned problems or questions.

“To prepare for the realities of the future workplace and the rapidly changing technological landscape, it is critical for educators to invite kids, to get good at asking big questions that lead them on intellectual journeys to pursue answers, rather than only memorizing facts.”


WHY go for SOLE:

Some expected outcomes of setting up a SOLE project are:

  •  Get better at asking questions
  •  Feel connected on a more equal level
  •  Cultivate a culture of curiosity at home
  •  Improve reading comprehension, literacy, behavior, language, creativity, and problem-solving abilities
  •  Develop stronger memory recall
  •  Strengthen interpersonal skills
  •  Increase motivation to learn about more subjects and ideas
  •  Create cultures of curiosity and child-driven learning
  •  Create more inter-generational admiration and understanding
  •  Have FUN!

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”
  – Margaret Mead


If you are interested to start your own SOLE project. Here is all you need at the preliminary stage.

At School:

  •  1 computer per 4 kids.
  •  A white board or blackboard to write questions on.
  •  Paper and pens for kids.
  •  For younger kids, a name tag or something fun to designate the helper’s role.

At Home:

  •  1 laptop or desktop per group of 4 children.
  •  Paper and pens for kids to take notes for their sharing at the end of the SOLE.
  •  Optional: Web cam, microphone and creative software packages for graphics, video, music and communication.


After you have designed the work space, it’s time to plan your SOLE project. The time may be distributed as under among the 3 phases of project.
Question: Place an inquiry question; give them something to think about. Show some image or relevant data and graphs. This activity may last for 5 minutes.
Investigation: Let the fun begin! Kids will look up for the answer over Internet. Encourage kids to find any useful information about the problem at hand, arrange the data and produce some discrete result. This activity may last for 40 minutes.
Review: Discuss the inquiry question and brief the kids about their effort. Engage the kids in their own review: What would they do differently next time, both individually and collectively? What do they think, how well they performed?

“The SOLE learning path is fueled by big, kid-created questions, self-discovery, sharing, and spontaneity.”


Discover: What makes a Good Question.
The goal of asking kids a question, is to develop a sense of problem solving and team work. So it is important to ask carefully chosen questions. It is found that large, open, difficult and interesting questions often make the best “big” questions for SOLE inquiries. Questions that are unanswerable; such as “who made space?” help encourage kids to offer theories instead of concrete answers. Bottom line is; ask big picture questions that may fuel constructive and deeper conversations.

“Who knows what we will need to learn thirty years from now? We do know that we will need to be good at searching for information, collating it, and figuring out whether it is right or wrong.”
– Sugata Mitra

Sugata has been working on this project for over 13 years now. He earned prize money of $1 million in recognition of his continuous and bold efforts towards advanced learning for children all over the world. Sugata pledged to continue his efforts and build an ideal school in cloud where every children, no matter how rich or poor, can engage and connect with the mentors. SOLE projects are being successfully followed in different parts of world. It is your turn to step forward. Help us equip the children of today, the leaders of tomorrow, with the tools of success.

“I continue to believe that if children are given the necessary tools to succeed, they will succeed beyond their wildest dreams!”
– David Vitter, U.S. senator



Thank you for showing interest by investing your time and creativity to improve how kids learn in your community. Submit your feedback here:
Your voice matters. We invite you to arrange a SOLE project in your community, locality or home.
You can conduct a SOLE by downloading the toolkit at
Share stories of your SOLE adventures with us.

“The most important part of this experiment is that we hear back from you”

Let us join hands, to spread the revolution of enlightenment and knowledge among the kids.

Featured By: Nabil Ahmed

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