• Mastery of a subject

  • Growth mindset

  • The future creative class

Sal Khan is at it again. His recent presentation is ‘Let’s teach for mastery – not test scores.”

I mentioned Sal Khan in a previous blog posting. He was a hedge fund analyst who began posting math tutorials on YouTube in 2004. His Khan Academy now has more than 42 million registered users from 190 countries. It offers free tutorials on many subjects including basic math, economics, medicine and more.

In this presentation he spoke about three things.

  • the idea of mastery,

  • the idea of mindset and;

  • the future creative class.

Sal noted that often students find advanced mathematics challenging. For example, when they get to algebra, it’s likely that they have many gaps in their knowledge. However, resources like Khan Academy help them. They are able to fill in those gaps and master those concepts. This reinforced their mindset. They realize their mathematics challenges aren’t insurmountable. They discover that they actually are capable of learning mathematics.

Sal mentioned this is how we master a lot of things in life. It’s the way you would learn a martial art. In a martial art, you would practice the white belt skills as long as necessary. Then once you’ve mastered those you would move on to become a yellow belt and so on.

Our education system is not structured that way.  In a traditional academic model, we group students together, usually by age. We try to teach them all together at the same pace. We lecture them and give them homework for a few weeks. Then we test them. The test identifies gaps in their knowledge but the whole class will then move on to the next subject. At some point they will ‘hit the wall’ as they have not mastered the basic skills.


The idea of mastery learning is to do the exact opposite.  The variable is when and how long students actually have to work on something. What is fixed is that they work until they actually master the material.

They learn to just keep working on it–to persevere with their learning.


Once the students master the concepts, they build their growth mindset. They’re building grit and perseverance. They take control over their learning. Students can interact with each other. They can get deeper mastery over the material.


Sal also discusses that we are entering the information revolution.

This will enable us to create a large creative class. Almost everyone can participate as an entrepreneur, an artist or a researcher.

We will let people tap into their potential by mastering concepts. They can take control of their learning. This is exciting. It can enhance the rate at which civilization can progress. Because of this, Sal concludes that he thinks it’s going to be a pretty exciting time to be alive.

You can view Sal Khan’s presentation below:

What are your thoughts about what we can do to assist our youth in this regard?

How can we assist our youth to face their future with group coaching?

Please contact me to enter the discussion OR TO OBTAIN A FREE COPY OF THE GROUP COACHING PLAYBOOK. 

Wishing you lots of love and laughter, as always.

Fred Jones

Victoria, BC Canada

Fred Jones

Fred Jones


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