What Elon Musk Teaches His Kids, And Why Schooling Revolution Is Long Overdue

Our world is not just changing at a great pace anymore; it’s constantly accelerating. Can we even predict what it will look like in 5 years’ time? As new technologies emerge, the labor market demands avant-garde professionals – like Big Data analysts, blockchain engineers, or IoT software developers. Narrow AI took many tasks off our hands, assigning humans a novel role: making quick and ethical decisions, applying critical thinking, and dealing with problems in a proactive way.

So there’s no wonder in the fast aging of conventional schooling. After all, education systems are huge organisms that take time (and a lot of effort) to change. All the more interesting it is to observe experimental schools – e.g. Nova Astra and its side project, Synthesis.

Successor to Ad Astra (“to the stars” in Latin) school created for the kids of Elon Musk and SpaceX employees,Astra Nova(“new star”) accepts students from all over the world. Through live team games and simulations, they learn to win and lose, accept the inevitability of mistakes, ask questions – and apply what they’ve learned. There are no grades, no division based on age, no differentiation of subjects. Neither do the students know the full rules of the games, so they are encouraged to observe and analyze.

“Imagine a virtual playground where kids get to make tough decisions and develop the instincts, cognitive tools, and collaboration skills to deal with complexity, all while having a blast. Because learning can and should feel like playing a fun game,” – explains Ana Lorena Fabrega. She is a Chief Evangelist to Synthesis: originally an Astra Nova class that came to exist on its own. Offering a 1-hour weekly class to kids between the ages of 8-14 at $180/month, Synthesis is a further attempt to bring the school’s approach to a wider audience.

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