Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, is a quiet revolutionary whose first teaching videos, designed to help his little cousin with her school algebra  have grown into something of a revolution. World leaders from education, politics and every other field, have approached him for ideas to improve their respective systems of education. Today millions of students, parents, and teachers use the Khan Academy’s free videos and software, which have expanded to encompass nearly every conceivable subject and their techniques are being employed with exciting results in a growing number of classrooms around the globe.

The goal of the Khan Academy is a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. 
Like many innovators, Khan rethinks existing assumptions and imagines what education could be if freed from them. And his core idea-liberating teachers from lecturing and state-mandated calendars and opening up class time for truly human interaction-has become his life’s passion. Schools seek his advice about connecting to students in a digital age, and people of all ages and backgrounds flock to the site to utilize this fresh approach to learning.

When he was asked that if he had the power, what he would mandate for education systems around the world, that would improve their systems, he seemed a little taken aback and his answer was that in fact, nothing should be ‘mandated’. By forcing a solution as a ‘regulation’ through mandates, any and every solution would be misused, misunderstood and would eventually fail.

For example, forcing every teacher in a school to use the Khan Academy videos would result in a small percentage doing very well because of their own innate interest in the videos, while the rest would simply go through the motions and probably fail to make any difference in the end. Follow up reviews would probably then be glutted with rationalizations of why ‘it does not work’.

The Royal Education Council has begun a program called “GNH Seed Schools” where innovations in teaching approaches are introduced. They have wisely selected just a few government schools as ‘seed’ schools instead of ‘mandating’ it across the system. However, according to Salman Khan, even this is not his recommendation as the mandate applies across the board in the selected school. Perhaps some of the teachers are not ready for it. The response from some of the schools were mixed.

Salman Khan’s suggestion is to provide solutions and let the individual teachers and students decide what best works for them. This seems to be the best recommendation for Pelkhil to follow as well. Mandating the adoption of teaching the Khan Academy way, wonderful though it may be, will require the remolding of many teachers and their habits, and this is probably a simple case of going against the grain.

Pelkhil School has computers and storage space for every necessary video tutorial. All we need to do (should do), is let our teachers recognize the areas where their methods are having limited success. Once they recognize a need, they will look for a solution. Our job at Pelkhil is to identify and place teachers who are on such a quest.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>