Actually, there is no harm in harmony!
In fact, my mind has not changed that much from Task 3, Khan Academy was just a reaction or a supplement to the teaching methods employed in the US; Khan saw an opportunity or perhaps a gap that needs closing and I cannot blame him for trying. Both Pershan and Blair, however, identify the need for a harmonised method of teaching/curriculum where improvement is welcome and not ostracised. But, my question is, can the U.S. and the U.K. be compared with countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Netherland, Czech Republic or Singapore? These countries achieved better performance than the U.S. and U.K. despite the States spent a comparatively higher GDP towards schooling to any other countries in the world (CBS News, 2010). Certainly, taking into account of what I’ve read and learnt so far, my approach to teaching is currently being positively challenged. As for Japan; could culture be a reason for the country’s success at Mathematics?
With hindsight, Khan Academy seems to be a product of the inactivity or discernment of those responsible for making good decisions. The blended learning idea, actually, isn’t bad since it’s intended to promote independent learning and allow teachers to focus their attention on those in need. Hence, a harmonised method of teaching/curriculum would be beneficial which would expose students with different abilities to meet autonomy in learning. After all, what Pershan suggested was:
1. To explicitly connect new stuff to old stuff,
2. Make separate videos for the statement of the problem and their solutions.
3. Present multiple solutions in videos or present multiple videos and solutions, while Blair (2007) proposed a harmonisation of methods with contents, with regards to Inquiry-based learning. In fact, “if someone is not against us, he/she is for us”. According to SRI Education (2014), “Research on the Use of Khan Academy in Schools” involving 9 sites, 20 schools and more than 70 teachers who agree that Khan Academy can be used as a supplement in classroom.
Is it wise to compare the teaching method of Japan with the U.S. or U.K.? If yes, perhaps the following needs some considerations; the first thing that I observed from the video was the classroom layout. In Japan, the set-up encourages collaboration and team work. Although the task given to them wasn’t taught before, they share the problem together. On the other hand, although the students were taught on the topic, they seemed disconnected with each other, the desks were positioned in such a way that it discouraged collaboration and team work. Could the sustained success of Japan, as well as the abovementioned countries, lie in their willingness to work together? Could metacognitive skills be developed that way as alluded by Blair?
The irony is that, developing independent learning could depend on collaborative work which Japan, Singapore and the other countries managed to do successfully. According to the article by CBN News (2010), how do they do so much with so little, Japan has lower spending on schooling, but, actually the entire system is set up to emphasise the development of vocational teachers.