Saturday, December 22, 2012

stephens & khan - higher ed

written by dale:
in his recent book, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined, Khan outlines his ideas for the future of learning.The Chronicle offers a summary of Khan’s proposal for higher education:

“In a chapter titled ‘What College Could Be Like,’ Mr. Khan conjures an image of a new campus in Silicon Valley where students would spend their days working on internships and projects with mentors, and would continue their education with self-paced learning similar to that of Khan Academy. The students would attend ungraded seminars at night on art and literature, and the faculty would consist of professionals the students would work with as well as traditional professors.

‘Traditional universities proudly list the Nobel laureates they have on campus (most of whom have little to no interaction with students),’ he writes. ‘Our university would list the great entrepreneurs, inventors, and executives serving as student advisers and mentors.’

Mr. Khan writes that he admires the work of Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal, who set up a fellowship program for college students to drop out and pursue entrepreneurship with the help of financial backing and mentors. But he believes living on a college campus is more valuable than Mr. Thiel acknowledges. ‘Grow Thiel’s fellowship to several hundred students a year; allow them to be mentored in various settings, not just one where they are starting a venture; house the students in an inspiring residential campus; and give them a scaffold of academics, and we are talking about almost the same thing,’ he writes. Although students would not be graded in the imagined university he describes, they would compile a portfolio of their work and assessments from their mentors.”

UnCollege strongly believes in Sal Khan’s vision of higher education. This vision has led us to create the highly anticipated UnCollege Gap Year program. Launching in late 2013, the gap year curriculum contains key features of Khan’s imagined program as well as a number of other experiences needed for personal and professional success.

Here are the four key areas of work and study:

  • Developing The Effective Self – Acquire the habits and practices of successful people, understand the depths of who you are and what you want to contribute, and actualize all that you can be.
  • Becoming A Hackademic – Practice skills you’ll need to participate in today’s information economy, from math and programming to design and communication.
  • Sharing Common Experiences – Go on adventures with an awesome cadre of UnCollege Fellows, visiting pockets of innovation across the globe. Have jobs and experiences that connect you with both the world’s elite and the rest of humanity.
  • Building Common Understanding – Get the UnCollege equivalent of a liberal arts education, developing a foundation of knowledge that fosters meaningful connections across disciplines and boundaries.

You’ll also:
  • Live abroad for three months.
  • Build your personal brand by speaking at a conference, writing an op-ed for a major news outlet, building a personal website, and so forth.
  • Work in the service and labor economy.
  • Build a portfolio of academic and professional work.
  • Land an internship a cutting-edge company where you learn skills valuable in tomorrow’s economy.

This type of education will offer learners success far beyond what a traditional college setting can offer. This program has the potential to truly change the face of higher education as we know it today. For more information about UnCollege's Gap Year program, click here. Applications will open in early 2013.

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