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Harvard EdCast: The Celebrity Math Tutor

By Matt Weber
10/26/2011 12:09 PM
11 Comments

EdCast logo, founder of Khan Academy, shares insights into his unique style of teaching, the future of his work, and how he’s dealing with celebrity.

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About the Harvard EdCast

The Harvard is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber, the Harvard is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.

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  • Salman Shokha

    he’s a genius in many fields of studies…
    he makes me proud of being a bangladeshi…

  • Sonia Traifalgar-Puentespina

    Sal Khan is brilliant!

  • Nick Siewert

    Einstein was a genius. Edison? Genius. Sal Khan is a bright, motivated guy with an electronic chalkboard and a good idea. I don’t think history will even prove him to be that much of an innovator. Genius? Let’s be a little more deliberate in how we use that word.

  • ChrisHorton

    Sal Khan’s response to Buffy Cushman-Patz’ question about taking education research into account is pure baloney, slick talking around the evident fact that he really knows nothing about it. Utterly sickening that so much money is being poured into promoting this charlatan and that so many people are getting sucked in. And by what right does Bill Gates, the man who ruthlessly used IBM’s monopoly power to foist a shockingly inferior operating system on the world and grow obscenely rich from it, claim to know what the public schools should do?

    My sense is that Khan is being promoted because the Khan plan support the claim that we don’t really need good, well educated, thoughtful teachers using good scientifically sound curricula and pedagogy. Just play a tape by Mr. Feel-good.

  • http://twitter.com/pbr56 pam rousseau

    I find it hard to believe that by immersing yourself for a up to a few months makes one qualified to teach. I think that it takes a few years. Maybe he is qualified to introduce something he just learned.
    As far as research, he hasn’t looked at the research in physics (PER), that is for sure. The research is extensive. He is speaking of just videos, but he should take a modeling physics class. He hasn’t done his homework.

  • TeganX7

    I am concerned that someone like Mr. Khan is being given attention by a prestigious school like Harvard. Mr. Khan is peddling a simple solution to a complex problem, and is touting that it works based on his own criteria and anecdotal evidence. One of my colleagues used the term “snake oil salesman”, and like those charlatans of years ago, he swoops in with a simple, cheap solution that makes cash strapped districts salivate over the ability to save money while sounding like they are solving a complex problem lacking any independent critical evidence of its efficacy. This is not education any more than memorizing 20 spelling words a week was education. His inability to coherently answer a simple question about how his work connects to our legitimate understanding of learning makes me doubt that he has invested much thought into making an effective tool for students.

    I will agree with Mr. Khan that education research should be looked at critically, and not accepted at face value … but that goes for his methodology as well.

  • Doug Forrest

    Although Khan doesn’t understand the depth and merits of Physics Education Research, that doesn’t mean his videos are worthless. Like most any instructional tool, they can have merit. Should they be a primary means of instruction? No. Can they help some students? Sure.

  • http://twitter.com/MrScottThomas scott thomas

    I find it scary that he brushes aside over 20 years of research with hundreds of teachers and thousands of students with a quick mention that he has 20 comments saying they like his presentation.

  • http://twitter.com/MrScottThomas scott thomas

    I find it scary that he brushes aside over 20 years of research with hundreds of teachers and thousands of students with a quick mention that he has 20 comments saying they like his presentation.

  • red77

    Since when is explaining concepts on a video a “unique style of teaching”?

  • sankar

    Sal Khan became popular because he made videos of simple concepts and put them on Youtube. The innovation is only giving free on youtube. Yes, he was given too much attention for nothing.

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