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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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.
We have tickets for Saturday! We LOVE the Maker Faire! Last year my younger daughter would have spent the entire time in the Maker Tent soldering if she hadn’t been so excited to see the Iron Mongers pour into their molds. (we did miss the Diet Coke and Mentos though)
I have to remember to bring more cash this year.....
They could teach that kid college calculus and physics.
1) I used Khan academy for my 6th grader who was taking an entrance exam for an accelerated program. The educrats in our district told us we should not “study for” the test, but we had heard they used algebra on the test. We went through the basic Khan Academy algebra course - and she did very well on the entrance exam.
2) I used to think home-schooling would be very time consuming - but I realized that when you don’t have the “convoy system” of public schools, a parent (with help from tutors if necessary) can cover subjects like Algebra, Geometry, etc... in 1/4 or less the time it takes a public school class. They waste A LOT of time in our district.
Pictured below: A Khan Academy instructor and students in an interactive classroom.
>>please let me suggest that you just allow them to be ordinary kids.<<
We are far advanced because we school through summers. It takes about an hour to complete Saxon. They get up, we go for a walk, they eat breakfast, do math then splash in the pool. Actually, my kids are extra-ordinary, but I don’t force it. They are what they are and we are having a blast!
>>They waste A LOT of time in our district.<<
It’s not just your district.
“Bore them to the point they would rather do drugs than learn.”
^^ This. I was the kid who had completed calculus by the 5th grade, but was still stuck in the public schools going through the motions. By high school, I was so bored I just started skipping classes and smoking weed.
>>Every month my husband will take them to the bathroom, beat the crap out of them, and then try to sell them drugs<<
LOL!!! Good one!
I had to post just to make sure I hadn’t changed my handle to “Boogieman.” Seems that my short-term memory took a bit of a hit in high school...
As long as they didn't have attitudes or disrupt the class due to their boredom, they'd do quite well in my class, and I'd encourage them onward.
They'd need three years of math credits in high school (in NY), so they'd have to take some college classes, but thankfully, we do have teachers that can teach this should the need arise.
Kids should be able to move along at their own pace, an idea I like. If a 13 year old winds up graduating, so what?
Feel free to use it at any time. Some people still try to use the “socialization” issue even though that was debunked decades ago. I’ve recently heard that we’re (as in homeschoolers) now being attacked for not teaching our children enough diversity and teaching them too much about Christianity. Interestingly it is my ghetto thugs who have no grasp of diversity and my homeschool students who can accurately break down and explain the concepts of major religions. Gasp!
My 12 year old is not being home schooled and loves this program
It also has a ‘coach’ feature so i can monitor her progress
It does not give answers- only suggestionds- the student has to learn to figure out how to find the answer on their own.
I like it a lot
Teachers do not like it when they have certain students who are way ahead of the class,....
If I can make that “Many teachers”, I will agree with you. It’s sad but true. (Retired teacher here.)
>>They’d need three years of math credits in high school (in NY), so they’d have to take some college classes, but thankfully, we do have teachers that can teach this should the need arise.<<
I think they’ll just follow the path of the other homeschoolers in our group and go on to Community College so they can have their AA at 18. But thanks for the offer.
Hows the economics and finance sections ?
Its the typical traditional keynesian crap or is more along the classical line ?
Anyone here see the Khan academy version of the bailouts and the financial and housing crisis ?
>>>what happens when, using Khan Academy, you wind up with a kid in fifth grade who has mastered high school trigonometry and physics
Isn’t it the purpose of teachers’ “grading parties” to prevent this tragic advancement of human achievement? /s/
Khan academy rocks! So too, MIT’s OCW.
For economics, just have them read Sowell’s “Basic Economics”. That’s all they’ll ever need.
They would get them to tutor other students.
I heard the economic is not good.
BTW, we use these
guess they never heard of advanced placement...
I was doing college math in high school 40 years ago.
and, of course, this is similar to the home school idea.
Here in the Philippines, the “Kumon” Japanese tutoring method which uses workbooks is used by many middle class parents to tutor their kids outside of the school system.
That would make them "normal"
Perhaps label them ADD or some other acronym so that they could be singled out and punished for their "advanced" condition.
"The nail that stands out gets pounded down." - Japanese proverb.
I was speaking hypothetically. I wouldn’t want you to send your kids all the way over here to my school.
Re the Montessori school: Do they get the same sort of political indoctrination there that kids often get in the public schools? We’re in Northern California (a hotbed of liberalism, needless to say) and the public schools here seem to regard it as their duty to make sure all students get their monthly dose of “activism.” We will be homeschooling our kids for a year or two, but I’ve heard good things about Montessori. Do you have any info or opinions about Montessori’s political leanings, or lack thereof? Thanks!
He has approached the problem by destroying the old ineffective way of teaching math and by building a new foundation. Not just any foundation...but a foundation that must be mastered (100%) before moving on.
And his approach is informal and friendly. And if a student is confused...he sends them to a lesson that they might have missed.
Regarding mathematics, Sal believes (as I do) that anyone can master math. Math is innate...it is in our genes.
I am a math major (econometric modeling) at the grad level and I have filled in many of my weaknesses in my foundational understanding of math using Khan Academy. I thought I knew math because I was good at it...but I found (thx to Sal Khan) that there were many areas in which I was weak.
Like Sal Khan, I believe that every student can master math (each in his/her own way). He is at the edge of a new revolution. Check out his site (khanacademy.org) and pull from it all the things that increase your life and mind.
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