Monday, June 15, 2015

Ad Astra

Link

Elon Musk pulled his children out of an established school after discovering they weren't receiving the quality of education catered to their abilities. So how does an entrepreneurial billionaire effect change? By building his own school. Even hiring one of his kids’ former instructors to help start the small academy of mostly SpaceX employee parents.

Known as Ad Astra, or Latin for "to the stars", the small school only had 14 students for the 2014-2015 academic year, but enrollment is expected to grow to 20 in the fall. Business Insider reports the father wants to eliminate grades and focus on the important elements of each subject and course. There's no "assembly line" for kids to fall in line.

By integrating the thinking process to include a progressive step-by-step approach at once, children will be challenged and able to understand result through a systemic pattern.

Talking about the school on Beijing Television with Yang Lan, Musk broke down what doesn't work in the American education complex. "Let's say you're trying to teach people about how engines work. A more traditional approach would be saying, 'we're going to teach all about screwdrivers and wrenches.' This is a very difficult way to do it."

Children lose inspiration by eliminating curiosity and putting everything into a chore. "It's important to teach problem solving, or teach to the problem and not the tools." He uses the motor example in a more functional, linear solution.

"How are we going to take it apart? You need a screwdriver." When you show "what the screwdriver is for," he explains "a very important thing happens" because students then witness the relevancy of task, tool, and solution in a long term application. It doesn’t matter if the tool is a screwdriver or red ink pen.