Let’s learn from our global teachers.

Posted by Ash, Uncategorized on Apr 20, 2016

OK so last week I may have come across a little strong on my views of Khan. I would just like to add that on reflection there are some ideas within the academy such as student tracking and global interaction which, if implemented correctly, of course would be great!
Previously I stated that the videos are very much based on an old fashioned ‘do this now’ teaching style and it seems that Pershan would agree with this. Students are given the rules in Khan Academy and then being asked to practise until the method is learnt – rote and very much instrumental learning, described by Skemp, with little room to develop further mathematical knowledge.
Pershan compares the differing teaching methods in US and Japan and suggests we should be leaning towards the Japanese culture within Mathematics, letting students explore problems from the get go.
Having mentioned in the last task that we should be crediting Khan for this huge platform of learning on a global scale. Is there a way Khan could be adapted to fit into our globalised world? Could Khan academy become a platform whereby teachers worldwide, who are seen as the best in their field, can share ideas and also create varied lessons for students?
I understand that we need both instrumental and relational learning as somethings can’t be taught relationally but the thought of maths being revolutionised excites me so the more learning taught in this way the better. Us as teachers would improve on Khan as we would be able to adopt a technology based learning style, but by not presenting the solution immediately.
I do see where difficulties can emerge. Students struggling could become disengaged with the concept of problem-based and simply give up on mathematics. However, if taught from a young age and implemented throughout their education, it would be a method they would become familiar with and that can give students vital skills throughout their lifetime.
To take you back to a quote from last week’s extension task, ‘people weren’t born with two left feet, they simply haven’t danced enough!’ You are not born as a person who is only capable of learning instrumentally with the fear of relational/inquiry based learning, UK/US society has taught you that.
I love the idea of relational, problem based learning and inquiry lessons as mentioned by Blair. I would say currently this is the teaching style I would like to become confident with and be able to implement within the classroom. I do understand that this style of teaching takes time, as Blair mentions, but as young professionals let’s start now. We just have a very large obstacle in our way: the current curriculum.


  1. Ray
    23 April 2016

    Ash, last week I felt that our opinions were quite a distance apart but it seems that we actually have very similar ones. I also like being described as a young professional 🙂

  2. Charli
    28 April 2016

    I didn’t think I’d see the day when you wrote something nice about Khan (did it hurt? 😉 ). I like your idea of using Khan as a springboard for other Maths teachers to submit their own videos- maybe even to provide videos in different languages for those who don’t have English as a primary language. I think the inquiry method is something we can all take at least a little bit from for a future as teachers- even if it’s just having the confidence in the students to let them struggle sometimes without spoon feeding the answers.

  3. pepsmccrea
    28 April 2016

    Great to see you taking on board these ideas so openly, but also recognising the potential difficulties that they might bring. You’re on to something when you talk about building students’ capacities for problem solving and inquiry. It takes time…

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