Sal Khan’s thoughts on mastery learning


– This idea of mastery learning was always kind of this gold standard. (upbeat music) This was actually as
a part of a fellowship I had while I was at MIT
called the Eloranta Fellowship to make a learning software
for students with ADHD. And it immediately struck a chord with me because going into that the
whole premise of the software that I was working on was this idea that it’s not that students
aren’t capable of learning some advanced mathematics or that the topics are actually difficult, it’s more that they just
have gaps in their knowledge. And I did a lot of
tutoring in high school. And I saw that over and over again that the reason why students were having, my friends were having trouble
with algebra, geometry, it was just because they had a
gap in their negative numbers or divide and get decimals or
logarithms or whatever else. Good students start failing
in algebra all of a sudden and start failing calculus all of a sudden despite being smart,
despite having good teachers and it’s usually because they
have these Swiss cheese gaps that kept building
throughout their foundations. Now a lot of skeptics might say, well hey, this is all great, philosophically this whole
idea of mastery based learning and its connection to mindset, students taking agency over their learning makes a lot of sense,
but it seems impractical. The real philosophical
core of Khan Academy is mastery learning. And everything we’ve built,
whether it’s the video library, the articles we have, the 70,000 items, the game mechanics that
we have on our site, it’s all in service to mastery learning. (upbeat music)

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