Here are 89 of the best Ana Lorena Fabrega quotes and thoughts.
But first, who’s Ana?
She’s a former teacher, EDUpreneur and chief evangelist of Systhesis school where kids learn how to think and solve complex problems with a team.
Ana’s mission is to “assist children in their self-education journey so that they can succeed in whatever path they choose.” She also wants to “inspire younger generations to learn on their own initiative.”
Hope you’ll enjoy!
Instilling a love for learning is the most valuable gift we can give kids. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
We cannot *educate* kids. We can only inspire them to educate themselves. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Let kids make mistakes. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
In school, we lose points for our mistakes. In the real world, we learn the most from our mistakes. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Being “good at school” is a skill that doesn’t transfer well to real life. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Fitting in pays off in school. Standing out pays off in the real world. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Try giving kids activities without step-by-step directions so they can practice solving novel problems. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Schools are astonishingly bad at teaching us *how* to think. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Intelligence is overrated. Great thinkers are built, not born. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Education should be about cultivating kids’ desire to learn. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Learning is driven by curiosity, not fear. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
School values conformity and compliance. The real world values are creativity and self-direction. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Good teachers are entertainers as much as they are educators. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Related topics: education, learning, how to learn faster, curiosity, children
What successful people have in common is their ability to try to do something hard, fail, learn from their failure, and then go on to try again.
We need to normalize failure. Most of the people, products, and ideas we admire today failed painfully on their way to success.
Mistakes in school are penalized. Kids know that if they try and fail, they will get punished with a bad grade that will go on their permanent record. No wonder they give up.
The crucial test of education is whether kids want to learn more after they’re done. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
The faster we learn that the future may go many different directions, the better.
The ability to persevere when something is difficult can be a competitive advantage.
A good education is one where kids graduate being extremely aware of what they’re good at, having had plenty of experience creating and building different things, failing and then trying again and getting feedback until they nail something, and having that desire to keep learning.
Giving kids choices and responsibilities builds a sense of excitement, accountability and purpose. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Put kids in new situations, and their powerful little brains light up and kick into gear.
Throw away the instructions. Practice discovery, adventure, and exploration. You just might be surprised at what you invent.
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If failure feels frightening or foreign, then kids will never venture out. But if it feels like an old friend, they’ll be comfortable trying crazy new ideas.
Imagine if schools viewed mistakes the way programmers do: Not as signs of failure, but as “bugs” that can be fixed.
The best way to avoid catastrophic failure as an adult is to make lots of small failures as a kid. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Reframe the learning process in such a way that kids don’t concern themselves with failure.
When small mistakes are not penalized, kids feel motivation to pick themselves up, stick with a task, and keep learning.
Set a positive example by opening up about your own failures and how you handle them.
Kids learn a lot about how to handle failure by watching adults.
Frame failure as an exciting quest for feedback. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
With a positive perspective on failure, we can help our kids develop true confidence to build a better future for all of us.
Help kids develop the serenity to stay with the things they’re stuck with, the courage to quit the things they aren’t, and the wisdom to know the difference.
In ten years, the world will look much different than any of us can imagine.
Title: Helping kids find their unique knowledge stack
Kids need lots of room to play around, explore their interests, and dive deep into whatever they like. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Kids need a foundation. They need general knowledge about how to learn, how the world works, and how to solve problems.
Give them space and encouragement to dive into what interests them.
Point out what they and they alone can offer the world.
If we help kids find and develop their specific knowledge from a young age, they will be able to offer the world something no one else can.
We want to make our kids feel safe and protected, but we sometimes overplay our hand. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
We are dealing with a generation of children that are sensitive and risk averse — children that tend to seek adults to solve their problems and protect them from discomfort. As educators and parents, we must stop this.
Kids are not as fragile as we think.
By facing challenges on their own, children grow stronger into adulthood.
Overprotected children can’t handle disappointments without adult intervention. Used to being helped, they get discouraged at the sight of challenge.
It is our job as educators and parents to continue cultivating their antifragility by not intervening when they face moderate stress. Heck, we should push children toward moderate stress!
Let them take a few bruises, bumps, and scars in a relatively safe environment. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Real learning happens when we work intensely on things that matter to us.
Projects create the perfect conditions for real learning to happen.
Let’s applaud kids for pursuing their curiosities and let’s make them feel like they’re learning, when it could seem like they’re “playing.”
Traditional schools continue to enforce and prioritize compliance, metrics, and consumption over creativity, problem solving, and entrepreneurship. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Our new world demands citizens who are self-learners, creative, and resourceful. Problem solvers who can adjust and adapt to constant change. Independent thinkers willing to carve their own paths.
What if schools looked more like playgrounds and less like prisons? Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Instead of demanding attention, try talking to kids about why it’s important to listen.
Title: How can we help kids become more independent-minded?
We must teach our kids to think differently yet schools do exactly the opposite.
In school, we spend most of our time consuming existing knowledge rather than producing new insights. We strive for correctness instead of novelty.
Title: Why should we teach kids to question the defaults?
School doesn’t teach us to question the default. Quite the opposite, actually. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Title: Learning to unlearn is the new smart.
In school, we have to wait for instructions and do as we are told. In the real world, we have to figure things out. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
School rewards those who color inside the lines. The real world rewards those who think outside the box.
Schools try to put us into a box. We all learn the same things, in the same way, at the same time and pace.
In school, we learn to not question authority. In the real world, we should question everything.
In school, we learn “just in case.” In the real world, we learn “on demand.”
Title: Meet Ana Lorena Fabrega, the Educator Focused on Independent Thinking and Mental Models
School should be a place where we let kids ask a ton of questions and let kids fail and fail often without making a big deal about it. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
How can teachers cultivate in students a love for learning that lasts forever, when they are forced to teach a one-size-fits-all curriculum that rewards grades and standards over creativity and choice?
In school, things are very straightforward and we water things down so it’s easier to grade. With Synthesis, it’s the opposite. We make things complex because we know that kids can not only handle complexity, but they actually crave it.
How can students be self motivated to learn if they are not given the opportunity to explore their curiosities or the things that excite them?
In school, we learn to play the status game. The grades game. The compliance game.
Kids need to learn how to solve their own problems. And in order to do that, they need to be allowed to have problems in the first place. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Freedom is important to learning. Kids find learning most meaningful when they have some agency and control over what they’re learning.
Genuine learning often happens outside of school, when kids are relaxed, exploring, creating and trying things out without worrying about being graded.
Lectures are not designed to accommodate dialogue or disagreement. They turn students into passive receivers of information rather than active thinkers and builders of knowledge. Kids learn best by doing.
Learning in school: Here’s your plate, eat up. Trust me, this is what you need. Learning in the real world: Here’s the menu. Order something that looks good to you.
Encourage kids to undertake activities where failure is a likely outcome just to they get used to failing.
Don’t tell kids what to do all the time. Give them the opportunity to come up with their own ideas.
Don’t make kids memorize information they can google.
How did we conclude that the best way to prepare kids for the future is to cluster them into a setting where they are organized by age, into grades, and forced to learn the same things, at the same time and pace, 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 12 + years? Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Encourage more creation and less consumption.
If we don’t feed our psyches with autonomy, competency, and relatedness, our mental health suffers.
Packed schedules and extensive curriculums leave little room for them to play and connect.
Let kids engage in unstructured play, where they have the freedom to find new interests.
When mistakes are not penalized, kids are more likely to keep trying. And if they keep trying, they have more chances of eventually succeeding.
We treat kids like computers. Give them rules and information so they can process the data and spit out the right answer.
Schools don’t teach kids *how* to think. They teach math, history, and literature “just in case,” but all that goes to waste unless kids know what to do with it.
In school, everything is planned with strict rules. Kids are told what to do, what to think, and even what to wear! Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
Find a balance between unstructured activities & projects with constraints so kids feel both motivated and challenged.
Let kids breathe. Give them time and space to work in private so they can experiment and explore.
Our brains need lots of free time to process problems. That’s why we have our best ideas in the shower. Our thoughts wander until a lightbulb goes off.
Kids have a built-in desire to learn. As they enter school, learning becomes forced. They have no choice in the subjects, the pace, or the way lessons are presented. They enter a system that leaves little room for choice and curious exploration. No wonder they lose interest.
Gamification will be key to transform education. We need to get kids excited about their own end goals, focusing less on short-term marks or grades.
The old classroom model no longer makes sense in the digital age.
When a kid has a serious and productive interest in something, do anything possible to feed it. Be the perfect enabler. Ana Lorena Fabrega Click to tweet
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Hope you enjoyed these inspiring quotes by Ana Lorena Fabrega! If you did, please share them with a friend today!
As a former teacher and father, I can’t agree more with the ideas Ana presents. Our society tends to protect kids too much which does the opposite of making them autonomous and courageous.
After all, it’s today’s kids that will build the world of tomorrow. Isn’t it? Thus, it’s our responsibility to educate them the right way.
Now, a question for you: what was your favorite Ana’s quote?