[ExI] dead weight

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Wed May 15 16:27:29 UTC 2019



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace

Subject: Re: [ExI] dead weight


>>…I am astonished it took so long to get good educational curricula online, but here it is.



>…Who doesn't require a teacher?  Someone who is learning facts.  …



Hmmm, well really what Khan Academy does best is to teach skills and techniques.


Let’s take math, since that tends to be objectively measurable.  Khan started making videos explaining how to do certain techniques.  Eventually experts in the field began recognizing the value of what he was doing, and helped round out the curriculum, some contributing videos on some particular skill or technique they thought Sal didn’t explain adequately.


Eventually a complete math curriculum evolved in which all the identifiable discrete skills in a typical primary mathematics education up through calculus and including elementary differential equations (typical sophomore-level engineering math curriculum) was presented in a collection of discrete skills, which has a definite finite number.  The number of discrete skills from addition to differential equations is…




OK, Sal Khan claims there are 1497 discrete mathematical skills that should take a prole from addition thru differential equations.


Each of those discrete skills has four levels of mastery, so to get all that, a prole would need to achieve a total of 5988 level-up assessments.  This becomes a clear and distinct goal for the highly-motivated student.


My unapologetic claim is this: any student who does all that will be a student who can hurl back anything any high school math class will throw at her, rip through it like a hot chainsaw through butter.  She will scarcely break a sweat.  She will soar with the eagles on the math SAT.


The fun part: those 1497 discrete skills are grouped as a “mission” called World of Math.  But… there are other math classes offered in Khan Academy beyond the World of Math, and they too are excellent.  Sal Khan doesn’t teach those generally.  He gets guys who really really know their stuff, such as the excellent engaging Grant Sanderson.  Any sufficiently Grant-like mathematician is indistinguishable from god.  You gotta check out this guy’s work, oh my.


BillW, what you are pointing out is that we don’t know how to measure subjective areas of knowledge.  All we know how to measure are objective fields of study.


I don’t know the answer to that one.  I am no closer now than I was several years ago.  Suggestions welcome, but in the meantime, check out Grant Sanderson.





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