I watched this TED Talk on teaching for mastery and thought it was interesting. I think it’s an excellent way to approach learning, especially as an adult in the workplace. In practice it means structuring learning so that we only move on when we are sure that the student understands the basics. It’s not 50% is a pass, it’s 100% is time to move on. If we’re lucky schools will adopt it too.
Sal Khan: Let’s teach for mastery — not test scores
Teach for Mastery
There’s a lot to be said for focusing on mastering basic skills before progressing to the more advanced levels. After all, we all want to build on sound foundations.
It comes through clearly in Sal Khan’s talk, but teaching for Mastery is important psychologically. People have more confidence, as well as more capabilities, when they have mastered a skill or technique. This makes them more productive and more likely to be engaged. That’s what everyone needs, to be fully engaged in whatever it is that they are doing.
As Khan points out, automation is coming for all of our jobs. So we need to find other things that we can do. This isn’t about moving along to the next soon to be automated field though. It should be about reaching the creative heights that allow us to embrace the opportunities afforded by advanced technologies. Once we all get there we get better lives. Let the robots do the drudgery.
Tell me what you think in the comment section below!