TED Talks

S1 E3 | CLIP

Sal Khan: Mastery Learning - Clip

In this excerpt from the PBS special TED Talks: Education Revolution, Khan Academy founder Sal Khan explains his concept of "mastery learning."

AIRED: September 12, 2016

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.