fbpx
+1 (512) 387-4043 briggs@actonbeecave.org

Learning Design

Learning Design

At Acton Academy Bee Cave, our children learn in a collaborative studio of multi-age learners.  Our flexible approach challenges each student with their own differentiated learning plan and inspires them through real-world projects and experiences.  Our Learner Driven Community puts children at the center of their learning, allowing them to create and maintain personal goals and relational covenants, as they Learn to Learn, Learn to Do, and Learn to Be.

1. Core Academic Skills

“Learn to Know”

Master the foundations of reading, writing, and math

Example:

Instead of one-size-fits-none teacher lectures …

… Self-paced mastery of 3rd-grade math with

cutting-edge personalized technology and peer mentoring.

2. Quests & Projects

“Learn to Do”

Hands-on projects to master the skills needed to solve real-world problems

Example:

Instead of memorizing the periodic table …

… You are an ER doctor in a 6-week simulation

You learn the processes, tools, decision trees and facts to triage patients. On the final-day Exhibtion, parents come with prepared “diseases.” You can order an MRI, an X-ray, etc., paying for each. The winner of the simulation is the ER doc who saves the most lives (correct diagnoses) for the lowest cost.

Acton Academy Bee Cave Texas Learner Driven

3. Socratic Discussions

“Learn to Learn”

Think and speak clearly to develop wisdom and judgment

Example:

Instead of memorization to cram for the test …

… You are Harry Truman.

  • Do you drop the bomb?
  • Reflect on this video of Hiroshima after nuclear force. Does this change your mind?
  • Reflect on this photo and personal account of a Japanese POW camp. Does this change your mind?
  • Which ethical approach is more important to you: a values approach — “We do not kill people” — or a utilitarian approach — “Fewest total lives lost”?

 

 

 

Acton Children's Business Fair

4. Servant Leadership

“Learn to Be”

Develop habits and character traits that make an abundant, fulfilling life

Example:

Instead of schools designed to minimize behavior problems …

… Young people learn to lead by doing so, with Servant Leader Badges celebrating the most important milestones, like:

  • Leading a conflict resolution discussion
  • Developing a mentor relationship with a personal hero
  • Completing deliberate practice of a skill you want to develop
  • Mentoring a team from a younger studio
  • Leading a team in accomplishing a big goal
  • Mastering a productivity skill like the urgent-important matrix

“Our daughter loves learning at Acton. She can’t wait to share her day the moment she jumps into the car. I’m so grateful to see a love for learning come back into her eyes.”

The Hero’s Journey

Spend time in an Acton Academy School Studio and you’ll see the layering of systems in a complex web of many moving pieces. But the secret sauce is simpler, and comes from deep within: our firm belief that every person who walks through our doors is a hero in the making.

The Hero’s Journey is the founding narrative of Acton Academy Bee Cave – the “why” behind all the passion. Here, narrative and storyline mean everything. Take a peak at how we embrace the Hero’s Journey:

“When we first saw Acton Academy, we realized:
1. Young people are capable of vastly more than they’re given credit for.
​2. This was the most nurturing, deep-learning, student-centered school we had ever seen.”

Outcomes

Spend time in an Acton Academy Bee Cave studio and you’ll see the layering of systems in a complex web of many moving pieces. But the secret sauce is simpler, and comes from deep within: our firm belief that every person who walks through our doors is a hero in the making.

The Hero’s Journey is the founding narrative of Acton Academy Bee Cave – the “why” behind all the passion. Here, narrative and storyline mean everything. Take a peak at how we embrace the Hero’s Journey:

Young people who love school

Students who can’t wait for summer break to be over, want to come to school on weekends, and sing on their way to school.

Families feeling more unity and purpose

Families discover the joy of learning is a shared journey. As one parent described: “Acton Academy has transformed our family, inspiring each of us to find a calling and discover a Hero’s Journey.”

Mastery of core academic skills

While only a small portion of the day is spent on Core Skills, and there is zero “teaching to the test,” over the 9 years of Acton’s history we’ve seen an average of 2.5 grade levels per year growth on the IOWA standardized test.

Self-management and leadership

The result parents likely appreciate most is seeing their children take ownership of their learning. Meeting an Acton student speaks for itself: they look you in the eye, ask powerful questions, are curious about the world around them, and have plans they’re passionate about.

“I would never have believed children could learn so much from each other – until I saw it with my own eyes. The lessons of self management and self governance have prepared our fifth-grade son to be a lifelong learner.