Sal Khan: Mastery-Based Learning
In this excerpt from TED Talks: Education Revolution, educator Sal Khan examines what he calls "mastery-based learning," which attempts to address ways in which students have traditionally become disengaged in the classroom. This new approach, he argues, emphasizes perseverance and is much more practical to do than in the past.
Even though we've identified those gaps,
the whole class will then move on to the next subject,
and that process continues,
and--and you immediately start to realize
how--how strange this is.
I didn't know 25% of the more foundational thing,
and now I'm being pushed to the more advanced thing,
and this will continue for months,
and it will continue for years.
Always at some point, I might be in algebra class
or a trigonometry class,
and I hit a wall,
and then I start to disengage.
So the idea of mastery learning is to do the exact opposite.
Instead of artificially constraining
when and how long you work on something,
do it the other way around.
What's variable is when and how long
a student actually has to work on something,
and what's fixed is that they actually master the material,
and it's important to realize
that not only will this make the student
learn their exponents better,
but it will reinforce the-- the right mindset muscles.
It makes them realize that if you got 20% wrong on something,
it doesn't mean that you have a "C" branded in your DNA somehow.
It means that you should just keep working on it.
You should have grit, you should have perseverance,
you should take agency over your learning.
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,
but it seems impractical.
To actually do it with students,
it seems like every student would be on their own track.
It would have to be personalized.
You would have to have private tutors."
But now today, it's-- it's no longer impractical.
We have the tools to do it.