The One World Schoolhouse: Education Re-imagined, Salman Khan, Hodder, Pp 259, Rs 399.00
IN this book, the author Salman Khan presents a simple thesis: we learn best when we learn actively and at our own pace, mastering each new skill before proceeding to the next. As founder and original faculty of the Khan Academy, an institution engaged in delivering fee education to anyone anywhere, what sets Khan apart from most pedagogical theorists is that he is giving his services away. He wants to change the way the world learns without changing the way the world schools. His website, Khanacademy.org hosts thousands of instructional videos and interactive lessons. Millions of people around the world have used them and sing their praises.
The old classical model simply does no fit our changing needs, he says. The current system of education is fundamentally a passive way of learning while the old required more and more active processing of information. The old model is based on putting students together in age-group batches with one-pace-fits-all curricula and hoping they pick up something along the way. He says it is not clear if that was the best model a hundred years ago; it certainly is not any more. Meanwhile new technologies offer hope for more effective ways of teaching and learning, but also engender confusion and even fear.
(Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 338 Euston Road, London NW, 3BH; www.hodder.co.uk)