The One World Schoolhouse

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A book review of The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan (Founder of the Khan Academy)

A book review of The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan (Founder of the Khan Academy)

Stars: ****

Twelve (2012)
272 pages

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere: this is the goal of the Khan Academy, a passion project that grew from an ex-engineer and hedge funder’s online tutoring sessions with his niece, who was struggling with algebra, into a worldwide phenomenon. Today millions of students, parents, and teachers use the Khan Academy’s free videos and software, which have expanded to encompass nearly every conceivable subject; and Academy techniques are being employed with exciting results in a growing number of classrooms around the globe.

Like many innovators, Khan rethinks existing assumptions and imagines what education could be if freed from them. And his core idea-liberating teachers from lecturing and state-mandated calendars and opening up class time for truly human interaction-has become his life’s passion. Schools seek his advice about connecting to students in a digital age, and people of all ages and backgrounds flock to the site to utilize this fresh approach to learning.

In The One World Schoolhouse, Khan presents his radical vision for the future of education, as well as his own remarkable story, for the first time. In these pages, you will discover, among other things:

  • How both students and teachers are being bound by a broken top-down model invented in Prussia two centuries ago
  • Why technology will make classrooms more human and teachers more important
  • How and why we can afford to pay educators the same as other professionals
  • How we can bring creativity and true human interactivity back to learning
  • Why we should be very optimistic about the future of learning.

Parents and politicians routinely bemoan the state of our education system. Statistics suggest we’ve fallen behind the rest of the world in literacy, math, and sciences. With a shrewd reading of history, Khan explains how this crisis presented itself, and why a return to “mastery learning,” abandoned in the twentieth century and ingeniously revived by tools like the Khan Academy, could offer the best opportunity to level the playing field, and to give all of our children a world-class education now.

More than just a solution, The One World Schoolhouse serves as a call for free, universal, global education, and an explanation of how Khan’s simple yet revolutionary thinking can help achieve this inspiring goal.

The One World Schoolhouse

If you are not familiar with Khan Academy, it’s a website where you can get a FREE education on lots of topics with videos and software. You can find it here. I got this book from the library.

I’ve been reading lots of books about education lately since we decided to homeschool. I have read books on the subject many times before though, it’s one of my favourite subjects. My daughter has used Khan Academy when she was in public school and she’s used it on her own since then for personal learning. We haven’t used it as part of homeschooling yet but I’m looking into it to supplement next year.

I enjoyed The One World Schoolhouse because it wasn’t just the story of how Khan Academy came to be but also a book on education in general. I found the story of Khan Academy interesting too, don’t get me wrong, but I loved that it wasn’t just “me me me.”

Among the topics covered was HOW education happens (scientifically), the HISTORY of education (how it went from classical types to K-12, broken into classes of same ages etc.), SWISS cheese learning (gaps in education), TESTING, HOMEWORK and SUMMER vacation.

For homeschoolers, you will find the discussion on testing, homework and summer vacation especially interesting. I’ve heard lots of homeschoolers talking about not testing and year round homeschooling. The book, while not talking specifically about homeschooling, supports less testing and not a full summer vacation.

If you like to read about education, you will not want to skip this book.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.