We've seen two significant benefits to blended learning in the classroom, both facilitating ownership by the young people of their learning and their long-term path. The first is that blended learning as we use it emphasizes learning instead of teaching. Young people aren't relying on an authority figure to teach them the material, but rather they learn the material with peers and on their own, just as they will learn for the rest of their lives. It is up to the young learners to set goals for how much they want to learn, master the learning tools, and progress quickly enough to accomplish studio standards and their own aspirations. We believe this is a skill more suited to the always-changing 21st century. The second benefit of blended learning is its efficiency in facilitating mastery-based core skills learning. We've observed our young learners progressing as rapidly and with fewer holes in half a day of individual-driven blended learning as they would in a full day of teacher-driven content delivery. In the other half of the day, they are applying their core skills learning in critical-thinking projects, apprenticeships outside the classroom (starting in MS), and Socratic discussions.
Acton Academy Middle and High School consists of two communities of students'one for grades 6-8 and one for grades 9-12'that learn through the deliberate use of interactive technology, hands-on projects, and daily Socratic discussions. About 20 to 30 students in each studio work independently or together to master skills and concepts in a multiage and interdisciplinary environment. Laura and Jeff Sandefer founded Acton Academy upon a number of core beliefs that still guide the school today, including that every child is a unique genius and has a distinct calling, and that children learn best as they practice governance of themselves and of their community. Learning to learn, learning to do, and learning to be are the priorities, with learning to know following naturally. Blended learning is the resource engine that makes this learner-driven approach possible. The success of this original Acton Academy has led to the rapid expansion of Acton Academies across the United States and beyond, with fifteen locations from Wisconsin to Guatemala serving students in the 2015-16 school year and a partner school program available for individuals interested in opening an Acton Academy in their communities.
Contact: Matt Clayton
Acton Academy Middle and High School
2201 Alexander Ave
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