Is Kahn Academy Really a Breakthrough Moment for Education?
Marion Brady has written a very good critique about the flipped-classroom, Kahn-Academy model for broadcasting instruction to students in a recent Washington Post blog. He doesn’t dismiss this development but Brady is a clear-eyed and experienced teacher who understands that learning is more than just having a well-prepared teacher talk to you on a predetermined schedule. Brady writes:
Intractable educational problems will begin to disappear when learners’ rear ends are gotten off school furniture and allowed out where life is being lived, when learners’ eyes are lifted from reference works passed off as textbooks and directed to the real world, when learners’ minds are respected too much to treat them as mere storage units for secondhand, bureaucratically selected information.
Intractable problems in education will begin to disappear when kids are not just allowed to chart their own course, but are encouraged to do so, and given means to that end. Too bad there are no policymakers willing to promote that idea, and no rich philanthropists willing to put up encouragement money.
Marion Brady has worked for decades in curriculum development and school reform and he wants to share his work and see his ideas and programs put to use in many places, not just conventional schools. For high-school-age homeschoolers and unschoolers seeking some educational language and rationales to use for their reports about their children’s different learning scopes and sequences, reviewing this free download of his curriculum can be useful.