Dec 14

Making Space for a New Model of Education

By: Valerie Wright

On this final blog post, we look at the Khan Lab School, where the Executive Director & President of the Board, Dominic Leichti, talked about “Making Space for a New Model of Education”.  The Khan Lab School is located in Mountain View, CA and was started by Sal Kahn.  Sal Khan believes in the One World Schoolhouse philosophy, which, at Kahn Lab School, provides an extended-year, extended-day, mixed-age program with a project-based learning approach.   For the extended day program, it is often the case that the kids have to be encouraged to go home.  The program only extends to 6:00 pm.

Recognizing that ownership and relationship are the keys to success in learning, the academic experience is coordinated by a team of Advisors, Content Specialists, and Associate Teachers who guide students through gradually increasing levels of independence.

Their Vision

Designing student-centered global learning experiences, accessible to the world.

They execute their vision through the comprehensive Khan Lab School Learning Design. The LS Learning Design encompasses four categories:

In looking at the real challenge for the 4th industrial revolution, which is associated with cyber physical systems, is that there will be five million jobs by 2020 in this arena, will our children be ready.   The current model for education has been around since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and the Khan Lab School is working to change that.  Children need to be prepared to “meaningfully contribute to a world that values self-motivation, meaning, empathy, and creativity over compliance. In the 21st century, schools need to empower students to develop independent and critical thought, entrepreneurship, self-direction, and collaborative capabilities”.  These comprehensions are also what lead to a lifelong learner which is the approach the Khan Lab School takes. What is the rubric for a lifelong learner:  Comprehension, Communication, Time Management, and Goal Management.

There is a push for having a Portfolio for college instead of a Transcript as a transcript doesn’t necessarily reflect the student’s communication skills or comprehension.  There is an emphasis on Independent Content, Context and Practices.

The physical space and the furniture that is a part of that space are considered part of pedagogy. The teacher is a coach for the inner and outer journey of the student.  The student is motivated by their goal path and which path they would like to spend their time in.



Tags: 21st century learning, Architecture, Education Categories: Blog