Mr. Khan’s Academy – teaching ‘virtually’ anything

I think I had a sort of epiphany upon listening to Salman Khan… I mean… really…and  drama apart, I just love what this guy is doing…

Khan, has indeed founded the Khan Academy, and notwithstanding the fact that there is a humongous amount of resources which can be accessed and downloaded freely from the site, this guy is indeed revolutionising the whole notion of learning as being encapsulated within the classroom walls.

I look around me and I see educators, teachers, academics and other people involved in the great institution of Education (with a capital E) who are nothing but pessimisting, deluded and cynical bureaucrats concerned with all the petty issues, getting lost on the way, and forgetting what the true notion of providing education is. To me, education and educating is about freedom – everyone’s right to and duty towards freedom… it is the freedom to know, the freedom to learn, the freedom to live actually, because to my mind learning is like breathing…we breathe without being all the time conscious that we’re breathing but we definitely need it to survive. In the same manner, we need to learn, otherwise we would not be better than a cabbage (with all due respect to the cabbage) in a vegetable patch.

So what excited me about Mr Khan, is this idea, that he is not really concerned with the petty nuts and bolts of the institution or of the curriculum for that matter. He can’t seem to be bothered with classifying students as ‘A’ or ‘D’ students, or anywhere in between for all it matters. He is only bothered with providing an insight of a particular concept and he has found the video as his most preferred medium – which is fine. I mean I don’t necessarily think that all the videos are brilliant for all the classrooms we have or that video is the only resource that one should use from this day onwards… far from it… I am sure that there are more and better resources… but it is the concept of it which is thrilling.

If only teachers, teaching specific classes could make use of this concept. This is not saying a lot, it is saying… listen, let the students do the learning elsewhere… when they come to class – they will carry a luggage, and your role then (as teacher) is that of helping them pack, (add or remove) items to their luggage. It’s easy, yes? However I wonder, if this can indeed happen in our classrooms… well at least not until we change the way we teach, assess and THINK…

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