Sir Ken Robinson explains the need for not for an education reform but for an “education revolution” to help our youth succeed in our rapidly changing world. For years, he talked about giving children the opportunity to explore their talents and search within themselves to find that measure of success on their own. Joining the education revolution means being open to changing current paradigms about education which can be very challenging. We need open minds and open hearts for change. Big change!
Traditionally, schools focus on learning to know. Children are provided material that they must memorize and regurgitate the information for tests. We believe in 3 guiding principles: learning to be, learning to do, and learning to learn. Children are given ample room to stay curious, independent, and lifelong learners. There is no homework, no grades, and no testing. Although when the end of session comes, we dfind our Learners joyfully working even after school hours, making sure all their challenges are completed and peer approvals have been granted and obtained.There is meaningful hard work presented in a way that fosters a joy of learning. Their work matters to them and provides intrinsic motivation. They learn to create SMART goals for themselves every day, track their own progress, work on their chosen core skills, participate in various quests composed of projects, research, and teamwork. This is Learner-driven learning!
One of the most distinct differences between a traditional school and an Acton school is the Journey Meeting. Traditionally at a conference – parents, teacher, and children review
grades in all subjects. They may discuss missing assignments, challenges with tests, and some behavioral issues. Usually, if a child's grades are good, there simply is no conference. This is why so many children with good or average grades are not challenged. Or they do so at far too great a cost to their mental well-being. Sometimes straight ‘A’ students have struggles detrimental to their future that go completely unnoticed. Grades do not define anyone.
We have 3 Journey Meetings throughout the year during which we discuss three categories : learning to be, learning to do, learning to learn. We evaluate children using twenty four items which not only focuses academics or core skills like math and reading, but also social-emotional learning skills like organization, relationship skills, leadership, and perseverance to name a few.
We value a holistic approach to education, recognizing that a child has more than just academic needs. It helps parents understand how their child is doing in school on a whole new level. They are on their Hero’s Journey and we are excited to watch them grow.