Laura Sandefer

January 31, 2021

With over 200 Acton Academies and 600 Acton Children’s Business Fairs around the world it’s easy to get overwhelmed in trying to figure out the answers to these questions: “What does it mean to be learner-driven? Isn’t this the same as student-centered? Why does the distinction matter? Is this for me and my family?”

First and foremost, there is an essential starting point for any Acton Academy and it’s a simple belief: Every child is a genius.

This belief infuses a sense of identity to each learner and fuels all of us in the community with a high purpose.

For us, genius is about uniqueness. It’s about the creative potential lying within each human which will waste away if not recognized and honed over time, with rigor.

How does this belief play out each day? It shows up as an exquisite respect for children – their work, abilities and power. We trust children to do hard things including governing themselves, holding themselves accountable and working towards excellence. And, we look to the children when there are problems to solve in the community.

Speaking as a mom, how does this play out for me at home? It means I must get out of my children’s way and let them do hard things without hovering, interrupting or fixing. This is painful for me and I fail often – even with my son in college. I can barely hang up the phone with him without sounding like the end of a pharmaceutical commercial speaking really fast about getting sleep, staying hydrated, doing laundry… until he interrupts and gently says, “Mom, I’ve got this.” Yes, son. You do. Thank you.

Next series of posts: Breaking down the 10 essential elements of an Acton learner-driven community. I hope you enjoy.

More Posts

Acton President

At Acton, we chose to do things differently by asking the heroes if they would like to create their own president, and the answer was...

Read More

Subscribe and follow our adventures!

Middle School

6th-8th Grade

acton academy, highschool, modern school,montessori, private school in san diego , private school in la mesa

Middle School is where young people rapidly start owning their education. Middle school is the perfect time to develop intellect and character while gaining a deeper sense of self and the real world. Students have a broad palette of topics to study and pair in-depth academic exploration with real-world connections to experts and local apprenticeships. Middle School is about deepening a passion for individual subjects while broadening your understanding of yourself and your future.