Thursday, September 1, 2011

Improve Education? Yes, we Khan!

As Syndrome would say, "This is just tooooooooooo good!" Geeky American single-handedly undertakes to transform education in the U.S. (At least he was single-handed, until Bill Gates offered him a cool $1.6 million. We should all be so lucky). A great story by Margaret Wente (my bolds): 

“This has the potential to supercharge what happens in the classroom,” says Mr. Khan, who is attractive, amiable and just a little geeky. His vision is to recreate the environment of a one-room schoolhouse, where students of all ages and levels learn independently but together, and have plenty of time left over to express their creativity through music or art.
Gee, that sounds oddly familiar. It's just like, oh wait, I know! HOMESCHOOLING! And, as the good folks at SDA point out, just watch and wait as teachers' unions try to destroy him. And sure enough, here's Ms. Wente again:
Not everyone, needless to say, is thrilled about the prospect. The education industry is extremely slow to change and fiercely protective of its traditional monopoly. Teachers are terrified they might be replaced by technology. And some of them think the Khan approach to learning – which focuses on incremental, progressive mastery of skills – is all wrong. Rather than concentrating on mechanics, one critic writes, “teachers should be inspiring them to figure things out on their own.” 
Yah, cuz kids just naturally and effortlessly discover how to do quadratic functions if pumped up with enough self-esteem propaganda. Why waste time on "teaching" and "mechanics" when you can be bullying children about how their lunches are packed instead?

h/t for the Khan story to SDA


  1. The Kahn Academy is amazing. Continuie carrying this message, and keep fighting the good fight.