I am not sure why I want to explore this, but I passionately do. I assume the challenges to learning may depend on trust and transparency and family structures etc, and so be hardest to activate in some of the poorest parts of the world, whilst also being most urgent, and potentially the most extraordinarily beneficial. I also do an increasing number of surveys profiling places which encourage collaboration to those that don't- collaboration (culture) seems to be a human relations system keyword for what learning is doable over time
Here are a few "thoughts aloud"
Are we assuming that the most powerful (or connected) person in a community wants people to learn? For example, if a community is ruled by corruption or warlords, what kind of learning is possible. Conversely, how can we plant safe or open spaces for learning in a place or in linking people online?
Positively: imagine a community is ruled by a modern day Gandhi. Gandhi set up a whole educational system in his local region under the motto knowledge is power. In modern day parlance his view of knowledge might be described as vocational action learning. He wanted children to be taught what would lead to work not from a "literary" syllabus. He also experimented directly with Montessori - have a look at the world's largest Montessori (30000 children) at Lucknow and imagine how different opportunities for informal learning may be there from an average developing place
I am really interested in what happens if you give a child an extraordinary experience at magic moments of growing up. For example, imagine if at the right age you got the chance to travel with a team of peers. What sort of trip might multiply confidence, social network contacts virtually for the rest of your life, any other seeds of informal learning that you may shortlist as worth giving every child a chance to experience?
In inner cities, my learning friends and I are absolutely convinced that there is a critical age of adolesence when children start hanging out in groups. If there is a local hub where children of every culture are welcomed, use open space circles to discuss how to do stuff in the community that is a wholly different informal learning catalyst to only having the formality of traditional schools or the hi- risk structure of street gangs. If the 3 choices a city offers to the adolescent to hang out in are: the formal education environment, the gang or the informal communal space- do we have a longer list of examples of informal communal spaces we guide each other around?
In poor places, prioritising the deepest learning context of your future lives also matters. If we get the most useful learning context right for kids, then its a gateway to being inspired to learn, and work, and the access a job gives to better yourself, your family (some of which are incredibly large structures in poor regions). What are the contexts? For example one of these is "health for all projects" being debated right now at adult levels at http://www.changemakers.net . I wonder what a school and informal learning curriculum that mapped back childseye view of health for all projects across a community would look like.
http://gameschangers.blogspot.com/2006_04_01_gameschangers_archive.html We might also ask if we chose one surprising context to co-create with, what might it be. The one I have become convinced about in the last 2 years is a complete surprise. Brazil and some other rainforest areas have started developing curricula connecting over 80000 children and 4000 teachers on practical biodiversity projects everyone around here is interdependent on. Two remarkable themes that emerge which are also dynamic gateways to extraordinary networking leverage multiplying exponential value for all who openly action learn: look at each project, business to see how its waste may be another's input. Know what extreme climate variables or locally natural knowhows your community is at a world edge on and find how to do a worldwide ebay with other communities ready to trade commons understanding on natural-edge learnings
chris macrae email@example.com