Let’s teach for mastery – not test scores


via Sal Khan: Let’s teach for mastery — not test scores | TED Talk | TED.com

Education is something that is always on my mind as I grew up surrounded by it as well as attending school for about 16 years of my life.  Fast forward to where I am today and I have three kids two of which are in the School system and a wife that is a teacher.  The video below was very intriguing to me personally as I know there was a couple subjects that I wasn’t great at back in school and still am not today (*cough* writing and spelling *cough*).

Would you choose to build a house on top of an unfinished foundation? Of course not. Why, then, do we rush students through education when they haven’t always grasped the basics?

For those areas that I was never really great at I just accepted it in realizing that that would not be my true calling.  Especially since Math came easy for me I knew that would be my route going forward.  However, Sal Khan has an interesting point that what if each year I would have had to continue to be at a certain level of writing and spelling until I mastered it.  Would it have changed the outcome of my first career?  I am going to guess it wouldn’t as it never interested me much back then but if I was better in those areas it might change the overall trajectory of my life… Well, that is a good question and one I will never know.

However, I look at the education that my kids are receiving and I know it is really good but could it be better if they were challenged every step of the way or at least pushed to master the subjects they were being taught before they move to the next grade?  It would take a great under haul of our current education system in order to get to the perfect place that Sal Khan describes, however maybe the education system we have today should take more steps to move us closer in that direction so we can at least narrow the gap.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think making people masters in all core subjects would be a good thing or a bad thing?

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