Instructional delivery, turned on its head

Headstand by aturkus, on Flickr

   Since the time of Horace Mann, in secondary
schools of all stripes, the education delivery model has looked something like
this: The teacher lectures to the students, educating them on the War of 1812,
the circumference of a circle, or dangling modifiers. Further practice is done
as homework—far away from a teacher’s watchful eye and helpful instruction. A
provocative new idea from Salman Khan (the face and brains behind the Khan Academy videos)
flips this delivery model on its head. In classrooms with which Khan partners,
students are given the lectures for homework (to be watched online); the
problems are done in class. This allows teachers to provide direct guidance to,
immediate feedback for, and more personalized instruction time with their
students. A bright idea from a bright individual—Khan’s proposal could be a
huge win for champions of individualized instruction and teacher
professionalization alike. Let's hope it catches on. (Photo by A. Turkus)

the Classroom Upside Down
,” by Salman Khan, Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2011.