Just like any consumer,
before starting a school we did
our research. We recommend you do the same whether you're about to apply or you're curious about
an educational model that you
may never have known exists.
Something to be
said about joining the
bandwagon. I don't know what im saying, I just want to get up and keep going.
What is Acton Academy?
Acton Academy is a booming network of 280+ accredited schools following a set of principles, a Learning Design (curriculum), and most of all guiding educational principles with developed systems to create a student-led learning environment. Continue below and discover the story and the genius behind the Acton grassroots movement.
Read the Book - Courage to Grow, by Laura Sandefer, co-founder of Acton Academy Austin
Welcome to Acton Academy
Hear From Acton Academy Founders
"Acton Academy is one of the most important education developments in the world. The story behind the ideas, the school, and the movement is a must read.”
~ Tom Van der Ark, CEO of Getting Smart
“Acton Academy Students Progress An Average of 2.5x Grade Levels Every 9 Months”
The Acton Approach
ON PERSONAL GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT
• The latest in educational technology for self paced mastery of reading,
writing and math skills.
• Deep Socratic discussions hone critical thinking skills and the ability to
powerfully think, write and speak.
• Hands-on project based Quests to master the tools and skills needed to
solve problems in the real world.
• Focus on the 4 Cs: Communication skills, Collaboration, Critical thinking,
ON EARNING BADGES TO PROVE YOU'VE MASTERED NEW SKILLS
• Children work at their own pace to achieve mastery in the core skills of
reading, grammar, and math rather than to earn grades or pass tests.
In mastery learning, children take the time they need to master a topic
before moving on to the next, more advanced level. This personalized
approach to learning allows them to zoom past topics they quickly
grasp and to be more deliberate in other topics.
• Learners core skill and character development badges.
• Electronic and hard copy portfolios capture rough drafts, photos, video
and other creative work.
• Public exhibitions at the end of most Quests allow young heroes to
present work to experts, customers or the public for a real world test.
ON DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP SKILLS
• Students create and sign a Contract of Promises describing how each
individual will act and the consequences for violating community norms.
• Mentor teams encourage younger and older students to listen, affirm, set
goals and hold each other accountable.
• "Learn to Be" badges that celebrate character and completing leadership
Want to learn more? Keep reading!
Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal
The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined, by Sal Khan
Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education, by Sir Ken Robinson
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck
NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google that Will Transform How You Live and Lead, by Laszlo Bock, Former Head of People & Operations at Google
The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How, by Daniel Coyle
ON THE LEARNER-DRIVEN ENVIRONMENT
· The Atlantic: What Happens When Students Control Their Own Education?
· Teachers’ evaluation of student-centered learning environments by Dr. Zuhal Cubukcu, Eskişehir Osmangazi University
· Insights on Personalized Learning Implementation and Effects by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
· Research on Student Centered Instruction by Brown University
“STUDENTS IN THE STUDY SCHOOLS EXHIBITED GREATER GAINS IN ACHIEVEMENT THAN THEIR PEERS, HAD HIGHER GRADUATION RATES, WERE BETTER PREPARED FOR COLLEGE, AND SHOWED GREATER PERSISTENCE IN COLLEGE”
- LINDA DARLING-HAMMOND
“FIRST, NO RESEARCH HAS EVER FOUND A BENEFIT TO ASSIGNING HOMEWORK (OF ANY KIND OR IN ANY AMOUNT) IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.”
-ALFIE KOHN, AUTHOR OF UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING
ON EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
· University of Chicago: Learning by doing helps students perform better in science
· Association of American Colleges & Universities: The Power of Experiential Learning
· School-Based Experiential Outdoor Education: A Neglected Necessity by Joan James and Theresa Williams
ON MASTERY-BASED LEARNING
· The case against grades by Alfie Kohn
· Ted Talk: Do schools kill creativity by Sir Ken Robinson
· The neuroscience of joyful education by Dr. Judy Willis
· Teaching more by grading less by Jeffrey Schinske and Kimberly Tanner
· The Atlantic: Love of Learning More Predictive of Success than Grades
“WHEN STUDENTS ARE ENGAGED AND MOTIVATED AND FEEL MINIMAL STRESS, INFORMATION FLOWS FREELY THROUGH THE AFFECTIVE FILTER IN THE AMYGDALA AND THEY ACHIEVE HIGHER LEVELS OF COGNITION, MAKE CONNECTIONS, AND EXPERIENCE “AHA” MOMENTS. SUCH LEARNING COMES NOT FROM QUIET CLASSROOMS AND DIRECTED LECTURES, BUT FROM CLASSROOMS WITH AN ATMOSPHERE OF EXUBERANT DISCOVERY”
ABOUT MOBILITY IN THE CLASSROOM
· NYTimes: Why kids shouldn’t sit still in class
· HuffingtonPost: The real reason kids shouldn’t sit in class
A RECENT STUDY, A REVIEW OF 26 PREVIOUS STUDIES LOOKING AT THE IMPACT OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE, FOUND THAT KIDS WHO GET EXTRA PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN SCHOOL DO BETTER IN READING AND MATH.
THE 4 C’S OF EDUCATION (Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity)
· Combining the 3 R’s and the 4 C’s by Tech4Learning
· Preparing 21st century students for a Global Society: A Guide to Four C’s by the National Education Association
“SITTING IN ROWS AND LISTENING TO CONTENT DELIVERED THROUGH A LECTURE IS SLOWLY BEING REPLACED WITH ACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS WHERE STUDENTS ARE PROMPTED TO ASK QUESTIONS, SEEK OUT RELEVANT INFORMATION, AND APPLY INFORMATION, NOT JUST REMEMBER IT.”
THE BLENDED CLASSROOM (ONLINE + IN-CLASS LEARNING)
· The effectiveness of online & blended learning by SRI International
· Blended Learning by University of Central Florida
· Blended & Online Learning Research by Vanderbilt University
· The effectiveness of Blended Learning Environments by Dr. Meltem Eryilmaz, Atilim University
77% OF ACADEMIC LEADERS RATE THE LEARNING OUTCOMES IN ONLINE EDUCATION AS THE SAME OR SUPERIOR TO THOSE IN FACE-TO-FACE CLASSROOMS (ALLEN & SEAMAN, 2013)
ON MULTI-AGE CLASSROOMS
· The Atlantic: Inside a multi-age classroom
· The multi-age classroom: What research tells the practitioner by Sandra Stone
· On the merits of multi-age classrooms by David Pratt, PH.D
· The advantages and disadvantages of multi-age classrooms: Center for Evaluation and Education Policy
· Multi-age Classrooms: An Age-Old Grouping Method Is Still Evolving: Harvard Education
“MULTIAGE DOES NOT TRY TO FIT THE CHILD TO THE PRE-DETERMINED CURRICULUM, BUT RATHER CHOOSES A BROAD-BASED CURRICULUM TO FIT THE NEEDS OF THE CHILD.”
- SANDRA STONE