Fab Fridays 37: Seven insights on Childhood Education

A compilation of Ms. Fab's Ideas

Hey everyone!

Happy Friday and greetings from Miami.

I recorded a podcast with Brandon Zhang this week where I share my views on Childhood Education. You can listen to the podcast on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

Here are 7 insights from our conversation and my philosophy of education:

1. Lessons I've had to unlearn as a teacher

I often talk about the importance of unlearning and the things kids (and adults!) need to unlearn in order to thrive in the real world. But in this podcast I share the lessons I had to unlearn when I left the traditional school system and what I've had to relearn as an educator outside advocating for change outside the system.

Here's an article and a video I made with 5 school lessons we need to unlearn.

2. Gamification in Education

I talk about the things we can learn about video games when it comes to teaching and learning. Video games give kids an optimistic sense of their own capabilities, they make failure fun, and help kids focus their time and energy on truly attainable goals. Most of all, video games motivate kids to get through tough situations and work hard to excel at things they already love.

Here's an article I wrote about Gamification in Education, and a video about what video games teach us about failure.

3. Anti-Goals

I talk about the benefits of having kids set Anti-Goals instead of goals, and how we can help them get to where they want by thinking about what they don't want. By keeping in mind what to avoid, it’s easier to know what to do.

I wrote an article about Anti-Goals, you can read it here.

4. What YCombinator and Synthesis School get right about education.

Idistill YCombinator and Synthesis School’s success into a series of principles that traditional education can learn from.

YCombinator, the world's top startup accelerator, really gets 'project based learning' and 'learning by doing'. Here's a thread I wrote about what YC gets right about education.​

Synthesis School is a new educational experience where kids learn how to break down complicated problems and reconstruct them from first principles to generate original solutions. Here's a thread I wrote about what Synthesis School gets right about education.

5. The power of Unstructured Learning

I share an experiment conducted by the One Laptop Per Child organization that highlights kid's natural desire and capability to learn on their own. I talk about how we can't enforce learning, and how the best way to help kids learn is to be a source of inspiration, motivation, and resources— and this is something that any parent can do, sometimes even better than teachers at school.

Here's the article I wrote about this bold experiment and the power of unstructured learning.

6. The importance of teaching from First Principles

Kids who learn how to think from first principles reject the default in search for better alternatives. They understand that if most of the systems framing our lives are human constructed, they can also be reconstructed. What's more powerful than that?

I wrote about First Principles Thinking in my previous newsletter. In case you missed it, you can read about it here.

7. Microschools

I talk about Microschools and the different components that make this alternative education model so effective.

In case you missed it, here's a video I made about Microschools.​

Have a great weekend,

Ana Lorena Fabrega