10 reasons why Salman Khan is a more important educational theorist & practitioner than Ken Robinson or Sugata Mitra

Donald Clark, Donald Clark Plan B, Aug 17, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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It is easy to be dismissive of Salman Khan (and I am guilty of this at times) because his seminal innovation was to use YouTube videos of light text on dark backgrounds. It is true, writes Donald Clark, that " There would be no Khan Academy without YouTube." But Khan has built a much greater record of innovation than this. Clark lists them: the flipped classroom, mastery learning, streak assessment, Khan Academy in schools, the One World Schoolhouse, multi-teacher classrooms, stop marking, staggered holidays and decoupling of learning from assessment. It is true that many of these innovations were described prior to Khan. But the important point here is that Khan demonstrated that they can work. "Khan is highly reflective and critical of the failure of education to pick up on valid research on lectures, competences, homework, efficiencies, cost, forgetting and learning styles," writes Clark.

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