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Sal Khan’s History of (the structure of) Education

In a video interview with Forbes magazine, Sal Khan worked through a history of education, starting with an industrial view of the classroom experience (which Khan calls the Prussian model) and ending with Internet-based personalized learning such as his Khan Academy.

From this perspective, education has the potential to evolve from an age-defined small cohort model to a capability-defined infinite system where the individual is not restrained by the relative progress of others.  Following that thread, such a system could not only change the dynamic of the classroom, but could reinvent the classroom, or even remove the bricks and mortar classroom altogether.  Such potential greatly benefits students, according to this perspective.

There is pushback on this general belief system, as well as this interpretation of history — Audrey Watters provides a detailed critique of what Khan leaves out of his history, summarizing the facts into a call for perspective: Continue reading