Books and Me: The one world school house

Book Title:  The one world school houseOne World School House

Author:  Salman Khan

Salman Khan and Khan Academy don’t need introduction to the people who are online. Most people in the world who are concerned with education and who are online would have been exposed to the highly successful teaching approach of Khan academy.  In my firm belief, this book written by Salman Khan needs to be read more widely – by everyone who think, talk, associate, dream, use and do work in education

Across the world be it developing, developed or poor the aspect of education seems to be a priority. Most leaders across the world have worries and anxieties about how to make education possible, how to make it available, how to make it effective, how to keep it efficient and how to make it purposeful. A wide variety of thinkers, policy makers, social workers and those in academia, seem to be voicing their concerns over the present state of education. There are also numerous opinions and alternatives being suggested.  One such active and radically different player in this group is Salman Khan.

The book is part auto biographical of his journey so far; while being interspersed with his incisive analysis on various aspects of the present education system.  You will find interesting answers to the questions such as – how did the current schooling system come into practice? Why are classes one hour each?  Why are subjects taught in the current order?  Why are children grouped in classes by age? Why do teachers give so much homework? And many such….

There are many suggestions in the book on how technology can make learning more interesting and more effective. How can teachers use these resources and free themselves time from plain lecturing which the students find boring  While some of the suggestions made are extremely radical like allowing self paced learning and certifications by schools, many require coherent change across multiple stakeholders and multiple beneficiaries.  The education system changes envisaged have far fetched implications on employability, on industry and even to a fair extent on the social structure.

Will all this be possible at the speed envisioned by a few thinkers? Will inclusivity and political decision making find a fair pace to make change happen? Will the current economics of the schooling business be disrupted? Or will a sheer crisis of a much large proportion force change to happen? Whatever it is – the book definitely makes one understand the school education system as it stands today in detail and visualise the changes that it calls for. Every person who is interested in the well being of the society and who thinks education is a tool to make that happen, would find the book an interesting read.

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