Your 11 Year-Old Child Needs to be Good in Math to Enter Ivy League Schools

Source: Telegraph, Oct 2012

What Salman Khan, the founder of the non-profit online school Khan Academy, has to say to the parent of an 11-year-old is frankly terrifying: ‘If your child is not placed in the fast track for math in sixth grade, his chances of going to Stanford are close to zero. His chances of becoming a doctor or an engineer are probably zero. And it’s decided when he’s 11 years old.’ 

What matters is the ‘student-to-valuable-human-time-with-teacher’ ratio. What his videos do, Khan says, is free teachers up for more personal interaction.

He thinks bigger classes with more teachers would provide a more creative learning ground. In his ideal classroom there would be 75-100 students of widely varying ages, with three or four teachers. Some students would be working at computers; others would be learning economics through board games; others would be building robots or designing mobile apps; others would be working on art or creative writing. All that really counts, he says, is enabling all children to learn at their own pace before moving on to the next concept. Otherwise, you end up with ‘Swiss cheese learning’ – fundamental gaps in a student’s knowledge.


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