Derek Sivers

Mastery school


Here’s an idea: Create a little school somewhere remote. School of what? School of mastery.

A place for anyone who wants go focus on a skill of their choice, surrounded by other people doing the same, and a few coaches — experts on the craft of mastery — to offer help and guidance.

This uses Salman Khan’s proposal to “flip the classroom” so that the core of learning is done in independent study, using online materials.

Since the teachers are all online, the local coaches just help guide each student’s path to mastery. There are many great books on this subject, like…

So you can see how the general skill of guiding and coaching talent, in any field, could be the best focus of the on-site staff.

The school should be located somewhere that fits with the story we tell ourselves about going away to focus. Somewhere that’s a desirable location, yet still somewhere with income inequality, where a school bringing a little business and fast fiber internet to a remote location would be appreciated. All the staff except the coaches could come from the local community.

Some shared resources like a good camera and microphone, a few computers, a video library to save bandwidth, and a chef making meals for everyone.

I imagine this could be as small and simple as a big house in the country, or a few cabins nearby.

Why attend?

  1. To get away somewhere you can focus without distraction — a show of dedication and focus
  2. To be around other serious focused learners, inspiring eachother
  3. To have the help of coaches that are great at helping anyone learn anything. They are experts in the skill of practice, learning, and mastery.

So, you go there to work on your thing, whatever it is.