Back in 2014, Elon Musk founded a school for his sons called Ad Astra (from Latin – “to the stars”). About 50 children study there, most of whose parents work for Mask – Space X.
Elon Musk aims to develop unique characteristics in children without forcing them to adapt to a pre-established system. There are no grades, and you can learn anything you want.
Therefore, the school has certain principles that it follows when teaching children.
7 principles of teaching at Ilona Maska’s school.
There is no rating system.
Elon Musk said that there are no grades in his school because they form a distorted system of values in children. But instead, the institution has its own currency – “asters”, and they receive not for a properly solved task, but for the implementation of their ideas.
At school, everyone does something: someone makes websites, someone bakes cakes, and so on. Every student has the opportunity to do something and find out how much it is valued. It is on this principle that children learn in advance about market relations in practice.
Do not insist on higher education.
Higher education and in-depth study of all subjects at Ilona Maska’s school is considered a minus rather than a plus. According to him, higher education makes people consider themselves special, after which they stop listening to someone and analyze their mistakes.
After all, many people succeed in life without a degree, such as the world-famous Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Therefore, Mask’s students focus on fundamental knowledge. They understand the basics of the disciplines and the application of everything in practice and do not bother with what they are unlikely to need in the future.
There’s a lot of practice and no tests.
Musk believes that because of the tests, American graduates do not know how to think, “they can only emphasize the correct answer.” Instead, he considers the practice to be the most effective way. So, instead of stories, at school Mask students are given an engine and asked to disassemble it.
“Solving abstract problems is useless because children don’t remember anything then. Their brains just weed out extra information,” says Musk. At the entrepreneur’s school, children are given real tasks to create something.
Children will gain in-depth knowledge of ethics and morals.
Elon Musk invents interesting moral tasks for schoolchildren. For example: “Imagine that the majority of the city’s population works in a huge factory. This factory pollutes the lake and kills the animals in it. What do you do if the closure of factories means job loss for everyone and if you leave them, the city risks losing lakes? “.
Such tasks help children to look at the world critically, to test the strength of their value system.
There is no strict division into classes.
Elon Musk says that there are no classes in his school, students study altogether. They, regardless of age, solve tasks together, share opinions, and so on.
This makes it more interesting for students to learn. And when they come home, they discuss what happened with their parents, and then bring their opinion to the team.
Physics is studied in practice, not in theory.
An entrepreneur believes that even if you do not want to associate your profession with physics, it is still useful to know. Therefore, Musk recommends studying it as a foundation, and then take a few courses to determine the most interesting area for you.
According to him, it is important that children clearly see all its laws and apply them, and not cram dry theory. Economics is also necessary for everyone so that children can easily understand its terminology.
There is no required program.
Musk says that some people like math and some like languages or music, so it is better to set up a program at school based on the interests of the child, rather than forcing him to take pre-written subjects. For Ad Astra students, lessons are not a pain, but a way to better learn what they are interested in.
Note that recently Elon Musk decided to help open an online school for children over 8 years. He donated his money to set up a new private online school, Astra Nova, in Los Angeles. The school will start operating in September this year.