The One World School House

Salman Khan


Rick Carabba
Amazing read on education reform
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Book Note

Sometimes the presnece of a teacher asking a question and expecting an answer in real time can be a source of thought paralysis

Optimal lecture time should be 10-18 minutes per core subject (based on students attention span in "the change up in lectures" & "information impact & factors effecting recall")

Principle: Don't include faces in lecture videos, inevitable distraction (blinking eyes, moving mouth, twitching nose, lol)

Face time should be reserved for problem solving, homework & mentorship, not neccesarily presentation of concepts. Complement one another

Flipped class formats: students watch lectures at home, come with notes in class to do the homework while the teacher helps them problem solve and is there when they get stuck to solidify learning and guide them along. most rewarding and fosters more "aha" moments.Gives teachers chance to Focuses on higher tasks such as mentoring , inspiring, & providing perspective.

Mastery learning should be the goal, not 70%. When we remove the time cram to graduate and move on by a certain date it allows us to focus on mastery as a metric for moving on versus time

self paced learning removes variables like...

exercises should be self paced and not needed to follow a week by week unit to unit pace. Some students could have been sick, things not going well at home, random distractions during a review, and it could tak their grade & then when the class moves on she move have a hole in her learning that would likely be needed to build onto the next unit. Self paced learning removes these issues.

"It's a traditional academic model, the time alotted to learn something is fixed while the comprehension of the concept is variable... WHat should be fixed is a high level of comprehension and what should be variable is the amount of time students have to understand the concept" -sk

Students who practice this type of mastery learning are more likely to take ownership responsibility over their education. ( "synthesis of research" & Mastery learning in public schools")

Learning is a biochemical &physical process, the "educated" neuron develops new synaptic terminals, the connectors that allow one neuron to communicate w the next, the increase in terminals makes the nerve cells more effective at transfering information from one neuron to the next. As we continue learning and getting different perspectives it becomes stronger and stronger. this strength is known as "understand". how deep you understand something. (In search of memory)

Associative learning- relating one new thing to a preexisitng bite of knowledge to engrain the new knowledge deeper.

"process by which short term memory becomes long term memory is called consolidation"

Principle: it's easier to understand and learn something if we can relate it to something we already know.

Subjects taught in silos don't allow us to learn in relevant and applicable ways.

Principle: Give learners a visual representation of where theyve been and where they're going, attach the subjects to relevant end results that are engaging and applicable in the learners actual life.

learning burns calories, the proverbial repetitions to strengthen your brain muscles.

Principle: launch new info onto preexisting info

"Active learning, owned learning , begins with allowing students the freedom to determine where and when their own learning will occur."

Principle: for student to truly take ownership of their learning, they need access to easy and ongoing access to the lessons that have come before.

Not like where you hand back your textbooks. Available and hosted online.

"nurturing a sense of wonder should be educations highest goal" - sk


when you give students ownership of their learning, it fosters that ability to drive their own curiosity car wherever it takes them, fit into their own applications with the principles available to them when they need it.--me : )

Why do we all of the sudden turn the education spigot off after secondary school or university? 

"neurons that fire together, wire together. " 

" London cabbies grow extra gray matter in the parts of their brain related to spatial relations and navigation" Royal Society of London, Brain waves module 2: neuroscience: implications for education and lifelong learningl

Principle: there should be no mandated pace to keep up with, curriculums shouldn't be time based, rather mastery based

i.e. move to the next "grade" when you master the subject required for the next "grades" learning. could be a few months, could be a couple years. the mandated time pace makes kids fall through the cracks bc knowledge often builds on top of eachother. to know x you need to know y, etc.

The standard model has tenure, its engrained deep

Library of 1 liners to open up Brain

How do we incorporate these new methods w current teachers?

The faultiest societal thinking is that education is something that begins and ends. When in reality it’s an amorphous continuum that we’re always swimming in 

The standard classroom model was born in Prussia 

Highlight the change in economics and what the workforce now calls for, what it takes to succeed in the workforce, yet we’re still using the edu system from the industry rev 

School is measured in time versus mastery level 

There always needs to be a review or retest for missed material on an exam 

Principles morphed into each students curiousity 

Prompts and activities brought up by the student around what interests them 

Principles needs to be contextualizad in a situation relevant to each student 

Each Need to craft the questions as part of the active learning 

Start w a desired outcome then how they would get there 

Tests don’t grade learning potential or how long learning will be retained just a snapshot of a knowledge repeated in any moment

What metrics should we optimize for?

“Tests measure any approximate state of memory at any moment in time”-sk

Ny times edu blog the learning network 

Explain flipped flat format 

Difficulties addressed as they occurred 

Shoukd not use age based cohorts-rather knowledge based 

“We obsess about more bc we cannot envision or agree about, better”-sk 

Student to teacher time ratio is more important then just student to teacher 

Flipped class format is also more rewarding for teachers, more aha moments seen

Use tech to automate mundane grading and tracking and that time can be switched to mentor ship w students 

Learning styles is doesn’t hold ground 

Using knowledge maps to map out a path of subjects students can see and tangibles 

Principle all students usually have gaps in learning from previous subjects _better to move back and cover that then move forward 

Projects that require and weave in underlying principles 

Mention the schoolhouse resource from Tiago forte 

The only certainty is change and the skill of learning how to be an active learner is evergreen, that should be equipped in all classrooms. 

Contrast that the jobs most kids will have when they’re older aren’t even created yet, they’ll need a whole new set of skills or learning,

So what’s the foundational principle?

“What we teach them is less important than how they learn to teach themselves”-sk

Self paced learning 

Independent study 

Remove stopping cues in learning (pre defined periods). 

Time spent lecturing should convert to time spent problem solving (doing homework). 

Replace passive lecture w active learning 

Let students set their own goals within a learning system that contextualizes the skills needed to learn and builds up to an end result that’s relevant to their lives

It’s like management, are you the type of manager that has their team clock in and out and tracks their hours or are you the manager who is objective/ milestone based & lets their team work however/where/when they please as long as they’re moving the needle?

Remove age grouping cohorts, make them subject mastery cohorts, 

Removing age based segregation naturally incorporates mentorship and the “reteaching” process as well, which has been proven to be so crucial to learning. 

Older ones take responsibility give chance to be a leader, younger ones have someone to look up to, role models

Khan suggests multi teacher classrooms, expose to more teaching styles, & mix different expertises, and increase the student to teacher “quality time” ratio

Teachers should be seen as coaches, work together, same team. 

Teachers are forced to drag ppl along in cohorts which creates a dynamic of teacher vs. student 

Remove it w self paced 

Mention dead poets society 

How do we maximize human potential and fulfillment on a 1to1 level? From 1 mind to the next?

If there’s one constant that needs to be incorporated into the next generation of education it’s the ability to nimbly transform easily so not to get too deeply engrained in any one method or curriculum. Incorporate an annual review of what new information has come out and continually tweak and test as we learn more about the mind and the feedback


remove artificial stopping points when one grade ends and one grade begins.


A proposed model for grading students: 

  • remove letter grades, a mastery learning system only advances students when they've mastered
  • a portfolio of student work
  • qualitative feedback about the learners behaviour using feedback software (concepts mastered in given amount of time, above or below medians for age, when stuck do they put in less time or work harder? after a patch of struggling do they bounce back or give into discouragement? 
  • How much time do they put in helping other students? time put in on own behalf tolearn? 
  • what have students created on their own, in their own time, ability to create from scratch and follow a curiousity.

"A multi-year data based narrative, privacy protected "

Use more co-ops to get students paid earlier, working on more real llife projects, & giving companies another metric to vet candidates for hire. THey'll be able to see the application to the concepts they're working on irl.

Principle: remove time deadlines for assignments.


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Rick Carabba is a writer looking for uncommon ideas that improve people's lives.