Sal Khan: Let's teach for mastery -- not test scores
In 2004, Sal Khan, a hedge fund analyst, began making math tutorials for his cousins. Twelve years later, Khan Academy has more than 42 million registered users from 190 countries, with tutorials on subjects from basic math through economics, art history, computer science, health, medicine and more. Full bio
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the two ideas that,
my observations at Khan Academy,
or the key leverage points for learning.
working with my cousins.
with math at first,
accumulated in their learning.
they got to an algebra class
shaky on some of the pre-algebra,
they didn't have the math gene.
shaky on the algebra.
some of those videos on YouTube,
who were not my cousins were watching.
were just simple thank-yous.
you all spend on YouTube.
got a little more intense,
that they had grown up not liking math.
into more advanced math topics.
they couldn't engage with it.
have the math gene.
and decided to engage.
and master those concepts,
that it wasn't fixed;
of learning mathematics.
you would master a lot of things in life.
learn a martial art.
practice the white belt skills
a musical instrument:
over and over again,
academic model is structured,
that most of us grew up in.
usually by age,
together at the same pace.
a lecture on exponents,
we'll review the homework,
two or three weeks,
gaps in our knowledge,
the five percent they didn't know?
move on to the next subject,
that's going to build on those gaps.
or negative exponents.
and you immediately start to realize
of the more foundational thing,
to the more advanced thing.
all the way until at some point,
or trigonometry class
is fundamentally difficult
and they're dealing with exponents
that I didn't know is showing up.
in our life that way.
two weeks to build a foundation.
the inspector comes, looks around,
is still wet right over there,
Let's build the first floor."
inspector shows up, it's a 75 percent.
while you're building the third floor,
you typically have in education,
we had a bad contractor,
or more frequent inspection.
was the process.
how long we had to something,
and identifying those gaps,
is to do the exact opposite.
that variable outcome,
to work on something,
they actually master the material.
learn their exponents better,
the right mindset muscles.
20 percent wrong on something,
a C branded in your DNA somehow.
keep working on it.
you should have perseverance;
well, hey, this is all great,
of mastery-based learning
over their learning.
but it seems impractical.
would be on their own track.
and worksheets for every student.
in Winnetka, Illinois, 100 years ago,
and saw great results,
because it was logistically difficult.
worksheets to every student,
at their own time and pace?
readily available for students.
all sorts of neat things happen.
master the concepts,
their growth mindset,
can start to happen
on the lecture,
over the material.
of a thought experiment.
into the past to Western Europe,
literate parts of the planet,
of the population knew how to read.
who did know how to read,
do you think is even capable of reading?"
with a great education system,
would have been wildly pessimistic,
of the population is capable of reading.
a similar question:
do you think is capable
to cancer research?"
with a great education system,
in a non-mastery framework,
or observing your peers,
at this set pace through classes,
you get to an advanced class,
not meant to be a mathematician."
in a mastery framework,
take agency over your learning,
as a moment of learning --
that could really master calculus
the industrial age
this information revolution.
things are happening.
society was a pyramid.
you needed human labor.
you had an information processing,
you had your owners of capital
automation, is going to take over.
because of this technology,
of the pyramid, in which case,
that's more aspirational?
to invert the pyramid,
can participate as an entrepreneur,
is all based on the idea
tap into their potential
over their learning,
as just a citizen of the world,
the type of equity we can we have,
could even progress.
a pretty exciting time to be alive.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERSal Khan - Educator and social entrepreneur
In 2004, Sal Khan, a hedge fund analyst, began making math tutorials for his cousins. Twelve years later, Khan Academy has more than 42 million registered users from 190 countries, with tutorials on subjects from basic math through economics, art history, computer science, health, medicine and more.
Why you should listen
Salman "Sal" Khan is the founder and chief executive officer of Khan Academy, a not-for-profit with a mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.
Khan Academy started as a passion project in 2004. Khan's cousin was struggling with math, so he tutored her remotely and posted educational videos on YouTube. So many people watched the videos that eventually Khan quit his job at a hedge fund and pursued Khan Academy full time. Today Khan Academy has more than 100 employees in Mountain View, California. Khan Academy believes learners of all ages should have unlimited access to free educational content they can master at their own pace. Its resources cover preschool through early college education, including math, grammar, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, finance and history. Additionally, Khan Academy offers free personalized SAT test prep in partnership with the test developer, the College Board. More than 42 million registered users access Khan Academy in dozens of languages across 190 countries.
Khan has been profiled by "60 Minutes," featured on the cover of Forbes, and recognized as one of TIME’s "100 Most Influential People in the World." In his book, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined, Sal outlines his vision for the future of education.
Khan holds three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Sal Khan | Speaker | TED.com