Flipping, Sal Khan & Khan Academy

July 14, 2011

Sal Khan (and Bill Gates) get it. Lecturing classrooms of students from the front of the room is “old school” in every sense of the word! Students getting grades is “old school”, and “C’s” are unacceptable. You can learn about Khan’s exciting work at www.khanacademy.org. I suggest starting with his March 2011 talk at ted.com (where you will also find a transcript). You won’t be sorry!


You will find some parallels to the Delphian School program. Khan understands one basic of our program — you don’t go past a step until you’ve mastered it and you fully understand it. He doesn’t mention the importance of mastering the meanings of words in what you read or hear, or the other elements of our approach, but it would certainly aid him in reaching and helping more students.  He too objects to the current system of grades that leaves its students with an education filled with holes like Swiss cheese.


He advocates “removing the one-size-fits-all lecture from the classroom and letting students have a self-paced lecture at home”. Students return to the classroom to do their work, with the teacher’s help as needed, which is called “flipping” (doing your homework at school).  He describes using technology to humanize the classroom, and actually having students interacting with each other. An environment familiar to Delphian students and parents, he describes a classroom where “every kid works at their own pace.” He says, “When you talk about self-paced learning, it makes sense for everyone.”


Khan’s students repeat a lecture until they get it, and redrill problems until mastered. He doesn’t address the power of words and the effects of going past misunderstood words, nor the power of demonstrating what you study as you go along (not just after every 10 minute lecture).  To his credit, he is doing fantastic things to help improve the education of the children of the world.  Khan has great examples of illogical parts of the current system – such as going from bicycle riding to unicycle riding with a “C” in bicycle riding, and the system producing an education filled with holes like Swiss cheese.


I heartily agree with the his viewpoint on the problems students and families face, and I happily share the news of his success in overcoming some of these problems.

Are you flipped?

Posted by marks on Thursday July 14, 2011 at 10:13AM

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