Education being turned Right Side Up

Salman Khan of the Khan Academy

Good Morning, God!

Last Friday night Kit and I went to hear Dr. Philip Pizzo, dean of the Stanford Medical School. Dean Pizzo is super bright and super articulate — information just flowed out of him.

But when Dr. Pizzo talked about the Khan Academy he really got my attention. It seems that Salman Khan started out making a few 10 minute videos to help his cousins learn math. In the videos you hear Khan’s voice and you see his writing on the chalk board. Very simple but surprisingly effective. Now the Khan Academy has 2,700+ teaching videos.

Our grandson Mark had complained to me about his physics textbook and teacher so I thought I’d share Khan Academy with him.

But, first, I wanted to learn more about it. So I watched Khan give a TED talk. Watching it, I realized Khan represents a movement turning Education RIGHT SIDE UP!  There are high schools that have dumped their standard math curriculum. No textbooks. No lectures. The students watch the videos on their own and do the “exercises” in class. The teacher then answers questions and helps individual students. Meanwhile, the computer charts and graphs the students so the teacher can see where they are. Time is spent teaching — not lecturing and grading.

This isn’t about Grades — this is about Mastery! Students don’t move on until they have answered correctly 10 test questions in a row! Since learning is incremental, this makes such good sense! Miss a step and 3 or 4 steps later, nothing makes sense.

Ah, but, God! The very BEST thing is that students who start out slower than others often catch up and end up even better than the “fast” students! I really like that!

Gosh, God. We need this for the “soft sciences” — like how to get along with each other.

Story teller,

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Posted in hope, learning, small meaningful moments

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