Theory of Enchantment x Academy of Thought & Industry

Explore personal identity, racism, and human relationships from a place of compassion

A powerful online course for high school students, involving real-world conversations to further your understanding of the world around you.  High school credit available upon completion.

For students who want to change the world.  We want to help you do it.

Through exploring themes from The Lion King to MLK’s famous “I have a dream” speech, we’ll help you change the world one interaction at a time. This summer, explore the intersection of racism and identity by enrolling in Theory of Enchantment and, in just 6 weeks, realize the potential of a more compassionate, cooperative world. 

Designed for high school students who want to be enchanted by the beautiful world of people around them, in all its riotous complexity. This is a place for honest, open, and deep conversations about race, humanity, and who we are as individuals.  

The course is based on the Theory of Enchantment, developed by Chloe Valdary, an American writer and entrepreneur who teaches social and emotional learning and diversity and inclusion in schools. Her work has been covered in Psychology Today Magazine and her writings have appeared in the New York Times and the Wall St Journal.  


About the course

Over 6 weeks, high school students will examine themes of human existence through pop culture – engaging with texts ranging from hip hop to philosophy. You will listen to Kendrick Lamar, watch the Lion King, discuss the famous “I have a dream” speech, learn about the Stoics, and more.

Together with a group of peers in a small group format online, students will discuss texts, song lyrics, movies, TED talks, and share their own experiences live. Engage in the Socratic Method with guided discussions, simulating a college classroom experience in a risk-free environment.

Course Details:

  • 6-week live online course, attend online from anywhere
  • Two sessions per week, 90-minute sessions (Tues, Thurs @ 4pm PST/ 7pm EST)
  • Receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course, which can be applied to high school credit
  • Small group format with limited seats available
  • Price $349 USD

This course has been adapted for high school students and will be taught by trained guides from the Academy of Thought & Industry.

Meet your instructor.

Dr. Laura Mazer is a Harvard and Stanford-trained surgeon-turned-educator. She has traveled around the world as an expert on medical education, and is the recipient of multiple local and national teaching awards.

While working in hospitals across the country, treating refugee populations in Atlanta and celebrities in Los Angeles, she learned first hand the value of the Theory of Enchantment’s first principle: people are individuals, not political abstractions. Now she is very excited to join you in exploring these ideas through pop culture in this special summer session.

Through a variety of engaging materials—from the Lion King to Kendrick Lamar, from James Baldwin to Brené Brown, from Nike ads to Steinbeck—students grapple with three guiding moral principles.

The course material allows high school students to explore these themes of human nature in a way that is relatable and motivating, and to develop a lifelong habit of curiosity, exploration and wonder. Whether it’s the dramatized sentiment of a Disney film, or the elevated consciousness of a Maya Angelou poem, students will find the fuel they need to drive their own growth as human beings.




Criticism should be used to uplift and empower, not to tear down or destroy.

Everything one does should be rooted in love and compassion.

People are human beings, not social or political abstractions.

Theory of Enchantment


An 6-week part-time course, facilitated by a live instructor in a small group format to enable lively discussions. Coursework consists of a guided engagement with instructional videos featuring Chloe Valdary, pop cultural artifacts, and readings in philosophy, psychology, and civil rights history.

What’s the commitment involved?

 We estimate roughly 3-4 hours per week.  The course runs two sessions per week for 90 minutes per session.  Live, online instruction with discussion plus engagement with the course material.

Is it only for high school students?

While this particular offering is primarily designed and structured for high school students, we also (separately) run adult cohorts. Contact us if you are interested in attending an adult cohort of this course. 

Is high school credit available?

Yes! Students can earn a trimester’s credit through the Academy of Thought and Industry (WASC accredited) for successfully completing the course.  

When does it start?

Our cohorts typically run every few months and starts early with evening sessions at 7pm EST/4pm PST on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, available fully online. We have limited spots for this small group course, so register today to secure your spot.

How much does it cost?

Tuition is $349 USD for the full 6-week online program. You can register and pay for this upcoming course by filling out the enrollment form or by contacting us directly. We provide up to 100% financial aid and scholarships are available for interested students who cannot cover the cost.

Sponsorship Program

Individuals or organizations interested in the program can sponsor other deserving students by funding scholarships. 100% of scholarship funds go towards student tuition.

What our previous students are saying

“These principles have taught me that I don’t need to completely avoid conflict, as there are constructive and respectful ways of approaching it that can help people grow rather than making them upset.”

“I also wanted to thank you for this course; it’s given me a new perspective on my life and I really enjoyed our conversations, as well as the course material.”

"From this course I have learned to be patient with others, you never know what someone else is going through and I should respect that… This course has taught me not to see people as puppets of politics and see people for their complexity as humans.”

Who Are We?

Educators for Change

The Academy of Thought and Industry is a network of Montessori-inspired middle and high schools for students who want to change the world.  Full-time ATI students can take this course as one of their electives, and it is now being offered to all high school students globally online.  

Chloe Valdary is a cultural thought leader and founder of Theory of Enchantment. She previously served as a Robert L. Bartley Fellow and Tikvah Fellow at the Wall Street Journal, and has written for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Atlantic.

Interested in our full-time ATI program for high-school students?

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