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Let's teach for mastery -- Not test Scores

Original Content Publication Date: 11/01/2015


Sal Khan shares his plan to turn struggling students into scholars by helping them master concepts at their own pace. He discusses the idea that many students don't enjoy topics like math because they never learned or mastered basic steps needed for more difficult equations. Missing these critical steps early in the process can hinder a student's ability to learn more challenging material. When learning to play a musical instrument students are required to master material before advanced to more difficult material. Why is this same technique not applied to other subjects?

Key Points

  • Students need to master basic skills before learning more difficult material
  • Teachers should focus on students retention of material
  • Our ability to learn and solve difficult problems depends on mastery of concepts

Discussion Questions

  1. Would you choose to build a house on top of an unfinished foundation? Of course not.
  2. Why do we rush students through education when they haven't always grasped the basics?


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