Bill Gates said in one interview that while we have made much progress in all kinds of R and D, to-date we have done little research to change the way we learn and the way we educate our children. I agree totally with him. Our education system was designed by Chancellor Bismarck to train the masses for the military-industrial complex in Prussia. We still see evidence of that in the name “kindergarten” – a German word for children’s garden – where we expose our children and grandchildren to the first step of a 19th century education system designed for another period and purpose.
Most of the world, even the poorest emerging economies, have moved to a digital age in varying degrees. Yet our education remains largely a 19th century creation.
I have been looking into this and I am really pleased to find that changes are happening. Leading the change is the Khan Academy.
The Academy was founded by Salman Khan, a Bangladeshi-American with three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Khan started by teaching mathematics to his cousins and when requests for his lessons grew, he left his job with a hedge fund manager to create the Academy as a non-profit organization. The Gates Foundation and Google are two of the financial sponsors of the Khan Academy.
The Academy has now created over 3,300 videos, all free, on a wide range of subjects – from arithmetic to physics, finance, history and hundreds of skills to practice. With new funding, there will be more videos on culture and the arts.
The Academy is on a mission to help us learn what we want, when we want, and at our own pace. While some of the courses are specifically designed for school children, most would be relevant to anyone of any age who is interested in lifelong learning. I recently watched videos on the Greek Debt Crisis and on the Heart Disease and Heart Attacks. I learnt a great deal.
I will select some videos from the Khan Academy to show on the Sage Vita website. I hope you will find that interesting and educational.