How to transform students to become problem solvers?

Regardless of the future we imagine for our children, and the one they imagine for themselves, we hope that they: • Exercise good judgment • Make sense of the world • Collaborate to solve difficult problems

Josh Dan
I had the chance of a lifetime to start Ad Astra School with @elonmusk for the kids of @SpaceX employees. To share the best of Ad Astra with kids around the world, I started @synthesischool with @chrismanfrank My thoughts on creating enthralling education & a brighter future 👇🏼
Some students want to be physicists. Others want to be poets. Some want to be both. Most aren’t sure yet, but they want to be people who make a difference.
Regardless of the future we imagine for our children, and the one they imagine for themselves, we hope that they: • Exercise good judgment • Make sense of the world • Collaborate to solve difficult problems
In all possible futures, these three traits stand out as essential. Not only to prepare for the future, but to live a life of meaning and joy.
So, how do you develop good judgment? How do you make better sense of a complex world? How do you learn to navigate competition and collaboration?
You need practice. Unfortunately, practice is hard to come by, especially as a kid. Practice happens in sports and music, but the greater focus tends to be on discipline and execution. If students get to exercise true agency, it often happens by accident rather than design.
So, how do you design experiences that make for good practice? To begin, you need an environment where mistakes are opportunities. You need to be wrong a lot before you can understand what it feels like to be right.
You need experiences that are complex yet welcoming. Collaborative yet competitive. And more than anything, you need experiences that are highly engaging and student-centered. Experiences have more meaning if you reflect on them and use those memories to tell your own story.
At @synthesischool, we use these principles to host practice arenas for judgment, sense-making, and teamwork. We design compelling experiences so students *feel* high-level concepts while navigating the complexities of teamwork.
We offer opportunities for students to grow as collaborators and problem solvers through: • Finding the best networks in Constellation • Curating collections in Art for All • Managing ecosystems in Fish • Confronting the challenges of efficiency in Proxima
We feel confident that over time, our students will collaborate more effectively and be better equipped to solve thorny problems than anyone (adults included).
We know that students want the real thing. They crave creative challenges that reflect our world. In essence, @synthesischool is where students become problem solvers.
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