One subtle shift to radically change education - what Elon Musk's private school does differently

JP Michel
In 2014, Elon Musk pulled his five sons out of their elite private school.

Next, he hired one of their teachers to design a new school called Ad Astra. 

Parents waged fierce battles for the few spots available. The Washington Post said “it may be the most exclusive school in the world.”

Everyone wanted to know: How will one of the most innovative thinkers of our time redesign education?

Here's how:

The subtle shift: "Teach to the problem, not the tool."

Our education system is built on disciplines (tools), rather than world issues (problems).

This is one of the reasons students think school is disconnected from the real world. When we start with problems before tools, students 'start with why'.

Armed with a #purpose, students can then work backwards to identify the tools they might need to solve the problems at hand.

Examples of problems to solve. How can we;
-Increase sustainable energy
-Create a more equitable society
-Improve mental health

Once focused on a problem, challenge or opportunity, the students at Ad Astra are empowered to explore the potential tools, disciplines & classes that might help.

The psychology behind this shift? Empowered students.

Understanding the 'why' helps students take a more active role in their learning.

Being more active leads to empowerment and autonomy...
More autonomy leads to more motivated students...
And, more motivation means higher engagement in the learning process.

If we started with problems instead of tools, what impact could it have on our #education system?

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