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Ask Sal Khan: "What would your ideal education system look like?"

Friday, February 10, 2017

This question was addressed by Sal Khan during his February 2, 2017 Quora session.

What would your ideal education system look like?

Sal Khan, Founder of Khan Academy & Khan Lab SchoolIn my book, The One World Schoolhouse, the first part is about how the education system got to where it is. The middle third is about how Khan Academy happened. And the last third is essentially my view of what the ideal education system is. And we have recently started a Lab School (a separate organization from KA) to test these ideas.

The general principles are:

Mastery learning - allowing students to work at their own time, at their own pace, and really master concepts. This idea of mastery learning is not my idea. It’s actually a very old idea. It's arguably the oldest way of learning. But when we had free mass public education, it was a trade-off that, well, you couldn't personalize for 30 students at a time. But now we have the technology so that you can personalize for 30 students at a time.

The transcript of the future should be a combination of proven competency based on benchmark exams (that you could take multiple times if necessary), peer and teacher assessment on social-emotional traits, and, most importantly, a portfolio of work that you have created.

Bridge to opportunity - too much of the current system is based on a convoluted and biased process of jumping through hoops, networking, and interviewing that gives a huge benefit to those who know how to navigate the system (usually folks whose parents know how). In the future, this will be dramatically simplified. You’ve shown you’re a strong programmer (especially with your portfolio), and your peers think you’re great to work with, so here is a list of 10 companies that meet your criteria – that already want to give you a round 3 interview.