Skip to comments.Could You Modify It ‘To Stop Students From Becoming This Advanced?’
Posted on 07/28/2011 11:39:35 AM PDT by netmilsmom
The free Web tutoring service Khan Academy has gotten much well-deserved attention, including a feature story in the current issue of Wired. That story includes a quote that literally took my breath away:
~~~"Even if Khan is truly liberating students to advance at their own pace, its not clear that the schools will be able to cope. The very concept of grade levels implies groups of students moving along together at an even pace. So what happens when, using Khan Academy, you wind up with a kid in fifth grade who has mastered high school trigonometry and physicsbut is still functioning like a regular 10-year-old when it comes to writing, history, and social studies? Khans programmer, Ben Kamens, has heard from teachers whove seen Khan Academy presentations and loved the idea but wondered whether they could modify it to stop students from becoming this advanced."~~
This attitude is a natural outgrowth of our decision to operate education as a monopoly. In a competitive marketplace, educators have incentives to serve each individual child to the best of their ability, because each child can easily be enrolled elsewhere if they fail to do so. That is why the for-profit Asian tutoring industry groups students by performance, not by age. There are grades, but they do not depend on when a student was born, only on what she knows and is able to do.
But why should a monopolist bother doing that? Its easier just to feed children through the system on a uniform conveyor belt based on when they were born.
Perhaps some of the many teachers of mathematics who are clueless about the subject matter they are supposed to be presenting will use the Kahn tutorials to come up to speed themselves?
Underground History of American Education
“I wonder what they would do with them in school? “
Bore them to the point they would rather do drugs than learn.
Punish them.......seriously, they would punish them.
Teachers do not like it when they have certain students who are way ahead of the class, look at the resentment so many asian kids get for trying to get ahead.
We homeschool. When people would ask what grade my “3rd-grade” son was in, I would reply 3rd, 4th and 8th. He had the opportunity to study each subject at the level appropriate for him.
Back in the 1960s, I attended a small church school that solved this problem by going "ungraded". The different levels of elementary school subjects were not 1st through 6th grade, but identified just by the teacher's name (so as not to hurt the kids' widdle feelings, I guess). The kids moved from class to class as though they were in high school -- and their classes were tailored to their abilities in different subjects.
So - let's use me for an example - In third period I went to Mrs. Corbett for English because I was already reading on a high school level, but I went to Cdr. Galloway in second period for math because that wasn't my strong suit! Other classes I was somewhere in the middle.
I had no problem transferring to a more conventional junior high school at the end of elementary school. They did want to test me, but that would be true of homeschoolers coming out of elementary school as well.
See if anyone is re-running old episodes of “Watch Mr. Wizard”.
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Easy to build models for science, industrial arts, physics & math students. Our projects have been successful for thousands of young adults interested in building technical projects with inexpensive materials and minimum tools.
Grade school, middle school, high school and universities can all apply these projects into current curriculum to help increase student interest.
Cub scouts, Boy scouts, after school programs and engineering clubs, have all used our projects to keep young minds interested in their respective programs. Our projects are based on using simple tools and extremely inexpensive materials to create stimulating projects such as hovercrafts, rockets, air cars, airplanes, paddle boats, sail boats, spin copters and water rockets.
Being the parent of a couple of those kids who knew math almost with out being taught, who are now successful and well-adjusted adults (who vote right!), please let me suggest that you just allow them to be ordinary kids.
They only get one chance to do that, and their social and spiritual development is every bit as important as their academic ability. It all comes together eventually to form a well-rounded adult.
“What would they do with them in school?” you ask.
They would put them in advanced classes in the subjects in which they excel and let them succeed academically. Our kids earned more than a year of college credit through AP work in public high school, but still lived as normal teenagers under our guidance.
Their AP teachers were excellent.
Worked for us, splendidly.
God bless as you rear those kids.
I had taught math to my oldest son. He ended up coasting through math in school for several years, basically learning nothing new, until they caught up with him. If they ever did.
I LURVE khan academy. At age 50 I breezed through the parts of Calculus and Physics that kicked my behind in college.
It’s a great resource and screw the education NAZIs who think it’s a problem.
I teach in a home school enrichment program where my high school students regularly get their AA’s from the local community college the same week they get their high school diplomas. Home schoolers are consistently off grade level.
Mindless blighted Educrats are the enemies of education.
With the power of the NEA and AFT they have sucked the public dry while maintaining vast numbers of students in their cesspools of non-achievement.
Will Khan’s approach shatter the rigid age-cohort approach of current Educrats?
Sure, so what, learn and adjust folks, as all real educators would be eager to do!!!
“but is still functioning like a regular 10-year-old when it comes to writing, history, and social studies?”
It’s not really the writing and history that concerns them; they are thrown in for affect.
Their real concern is that the child not miss the “social studies” - political indoctrination, that every state education curriculum is filled with.
My son asked to be transferred back to our neighborhood school. It took 3 weeks to catch up on work that his classmates were doing in the neighborhood school that was not being done in the "barrio" "magnet" school. He not only caught up, but kept accelerating his efforts. I checked his English compositions after the "teacher" corrected them. Total crap...on the part of the teacher. I finished the job and made him rewrite the papers. In the end, he was tutoring the AP classes in high school in evening sessions. He often stepped in for the assigned teacher because he knew the material better than the teacher. His exam scores were 5 on all tests. Final GPA was 4.33.
Back to the original issue. Doing significantly better than your peers may result in punishment by the teacher and your peers. Expect it. Don't let it impede your desire to excel. The world is full of Luddites.
What Khan has done is deliver a mathematics toolkit that anyone, at any level, can use to quickly and easily access whatever math skillset, program, or formulae is needed to solve any problem or meet any work challenge. And he offers this toolkit in brief youtube videos.
His basic idea is that in conventional school systems create problems when students move to higher and higher grades with only a 70 or 80 grade. When schools permit this they are passing students with proficiency in only 70% or 80% of the material presented (and they are failing to become proficient in 20% to 30% of the material).
In Khans view, this leaves students with a swiss cheese like understanding of math...and this eventually leads to failure.
He has changed the paradigm. He makes sure that students master EVERY area of math. And he demonstrates that it is so easy, anyone can do it (with a little persistence).
IMHO Sal Khan has sparked a revolution that will be impossible to stop.
Sorry for any errors...I am a newby.
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