He Who Khan, Does

“He who can, does. He who can’t, teaches. He who can’t teach, teaches teachers.”

homeschool khanA few years ago I began a Masters Degree in Education at a well known Christian university in a desire to get a teaching license that would allow me to teach in Christian schools that require such, as well as public schools if that path were to present itself. It was during the first few classes that I realized the inadequacy of state certification and the resultant production of assembly line teachers with like-minded, imposed homogeneous outlooks. The mandated worldview one must absorb and adhere to in order to gain entry into the teachers’ union is in many ways opposed diametrically to the biblical command for a Christian education overseen by Christian parents (Deut. 6, Eph. 6). In addition, this system has failed (and continues to fail) to produce enthusiastic and “qualified” teachers as did the private education of early America. 

In addition, with the advancement of homeschooling, the system is faced with the reality that children are able to be educated quite well by “unqualified” mothers and fathers, and in many cases by their own self-study, to the degree of currently surpassing the scores of its “certified and educated” systems taught down the road a couple of miles. In fact, programs such as the Robinson Curriculum or Ron Paul Curriculum has children teaching themselves which has massive implications towards the next generation being able to learn and solve problems on their own without someone there to guide them in every step.  My point is this: “professional teachers” are not required for children to receive a great education. Actually, it is inspired, motivated and diligent parents and “non-professionals” that will supersede these state-certified educators, one example being  the work of Salman Khan and Khan Academy. As Gary North notes: 

“Without any warning, Salman Khan in 2006 began posting his mathematics screencast videos that he produced for his nieces and nephews. People began to come to his website to see the videos. He kept producing more videos. He offered them free of charge.

By now, you know the story. Today, 10 million students are using his videos. They are using them in school systems and also in homeschooling environments all over the world…..Khan will someday be teaching 100 million students.

The faculty at Oakland Unity High School began using his videos and exercises. The performance of the students dramatically rose….. Khan has proven that 100+ years of educational theory is wrong. With no training whatsoever in a formal program of education, he became, almost overnight, the most important teacher in the history of the world. The teachers’ union can scream bloody murder, but it won’t do any good. His program is clearly better than anything that the typical tax-funded public school has to offer. Other charter schools will pick up Khan’s program. Why not? It’s free. They get all of this educational support material, and it does not cost them a dime. All the school has to do is buy used computers, add Wi-Fi, and let the students loose on Khan Academy’s site.”

Khan does not possess a state-certification and the success of this program and many more void of the “professional” label will continue to pose a threat to the teachers’ union, a union tumbling in the cycle of coming up short and demanding more money for research and equipment.

The robinson curriculum khanRobinson Curriculum was born as a father of six was left with the primary homeschooling duties as his wife tragically and unexpectedly passed from a rare disease. What grew out of this was a curriculum that aims at children taking the role as teacher and student by teaching them to teach themselves (with Dr. Robinson spending less than 15 minutes a day teaching all six children), which has huge benefits for advanced placement and life skills as seen in the outcomes of his own children and the thousands to use the program afterward. Children are taught to think for themselves and learn on their own, a skill lost in our modern age. As public schools continue to decline morally and academically, students in private education will, as demonstrated by recent studies, continue to flourish academically, morally, and will create the self-sufficient generation of the future.

“Any high school mathematics teacher in the United States could now set up a rival program. There are probably 100,000 of them. If these teachers are any good, or if 10% of them are top-flight, then any one of them could do it. Nobody has done it. They are lazy to the very core of their being. They are not confident about their own abilities. They refuse to sit down with $200 worth of equipment and post videos free of charge on YouTube. They have surrendered the entire field to one man, and this man is not a trained educator. It is too late ever to catch up with him. 

This means that the public schools of the world can either ignore this revolution, or else they can integrate it into their programs. If they ignore it, they are basically turning over education to the charter schools. The charter schools are going to use it. It’s a free resource which improves student performance and cuts expenses.”