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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined


The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined 
by Salman Khan

Blurb:

"A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere: this is the goal of the Khan Academy, a passion project that grew from an ex-engineer and hedge funder's online tutoring sessions with his niece, who was struggling with algebra, into a worldwide phenomenon. 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 Academy techniques are being employed with exciting results in a growing number of classrooms around the globe. In The One World Schoolhouse, Khan presents his radical vision for the future of education, as well as his own remarkable story, for the first time. With a shrewd reading of history, Khan explains how the crisis in contemporary education emerged, and why a return to "mastery learning," abandoned in the twentieth century and ingeniously revived by tools like the Khan Academy, could offer the best opportunity to level the playing field, and to give all of our children a world-class education now. More than just a solution, The One World Schoolhouse serves as a call for free, universal, global education, and an explanation of how Khan's simple yet revolutionary thinking can help achieve this inspiring goal."

My Review:

As an educator, finding ways to improve education is important to me. I have utilized Khan's math videos over the years as I have tried to help my junior high kids with their math. Over the summer I was the mean mom who had all four of her children doing homework every day. Yep, even the junior high kids. And this year instead of buying workbooks or printing my own worksheets each day, I had my kids do the Khan Academy math. It was awesome! They thought it was their favorite program out of all the ones I've tried (I've tried a lot). I loved that there are videos and tips for when the kids get stuck.

Anyway, slight tangent....the book! I have always been impressed with Khan Academy, and was really excited to read Mr. Khan's book. Wow. After reading this book I have hope for some great things in education, especially math education. Although I can't say that I agree with everything Mr. Khan presented in this book, he sure does have a way of getting the reader excited about education. He has some great ideas. This book flows so well. He does a very good job of presenting his ideas in a non-boring way (at least that's what I thought). My favorite part about his philosophy is that the kids learn the math material and watch the videos at home the night before and then get the chance during class to do the homework, ask questions, and truly understand the material. This just makes so much more sense to me. I'm dealing with this right now in my house. I have ninth and eighth grade boys, and they bring home difficult math homework. My husband is super smart in math and science. He has two bachelor degrees and two masters degrees, and all of them have something to do with math or science. So usually if my boys have math homework I send them to my husband. Even though he is super smart, they will sometimes be up until 11:00 or later because it's tough and my husband has to relearn it. Even if he remembers it, they are probably teaching it in a new way now, and he'll need to learn how to do it the new way. Switching the process around like Mr. Khan wants to do is brilliant. It eliminates the need to stress parents and kids out by allowing the teacher to help with the homework. The only problem I have is with the early readers. I still think the current model is best because there are more things involved with reading, but who knows, maybe I'd be surprised. I enjoyed reading about how Khan Academy is implementing its philosophy in whole schools, and the successes they've had there. If you like to learn about education and want to hear Mr. Khan's philosophy, this book is for you! I'm definitely recommending it to all my teacher-friends!

Rating: G (It's clean)

Recommendation: High School and up. I don't know if high school kids would even be interested in this, but it could be a good basis for a research project or something. I think adults will definitely enjoy it more.

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