Khan Academy – Why all the hate?

The reason Khan is suffering so much criticism is because he is not ideologically compatible with current North-American educational philosophy ((a) teachers don’t teach, they facilitate (b) it’s not about knowledge it’s about understanding (c) learning should never be hard or difficult, intellectual difficulties must be sugar coated and education should be edutainment and of course (d) nobody should ever fail … ).

Khan Academy are NOT for teaching. These are resources designed to help explain the most basic units of mathematical understanding and knowledge. We use them only when they are relevant, they are especially useful in cases where the procedure, the algorithm must be studied several times to break the cognitive barrier that is impeding mastery. THESE ARE TOOLS, NOT THE METHOD.

Khan, his ilk and mathematics in general is so foreign to most educators, especially those involved in educational philosophy, they are not comfortable with his popularity and his product. They therefore feel they need to tackle him, deconstruct his content and trivialize his achievements.

Remember the old joke: what’s the difference between a mathematician and a philosopher? Mathematicians have waste paper baskets.

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