Khan-Academy turns extremely blank slate with #youcanlearnanything

It’s a great message and a great video, this new campaign movie by Khan Academy:

But… is it correct? Well, the point of view that anyone can learn anything is an extreme nurture point of view, while we now for quite a while know it’s not that simple. (I myself have tried to learn German for ages, it just didn’t work.). Do notice that the video doesn’t actually say to what extent everybody can learn anything, but they do suggest that everybody has a potential Einstein inside. Well, even with 10000 hours of practice not everybody will become an expert in any giving field.

Well, that’s just not the case. Our nature-side does have a big influence, not as deterministic as some might think, but the harsh reality is that is does play an important role. And The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker is maybe 12 years old, it’s still a mustread book.

More correct is that everybody should be able to try to learn anything they want, but this just doesn’t sound that sexy, I’m afraid.

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