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6 Learner Driven Principles at Acton Academy Silicon Valley!

While each Acton Academy community has its own culture and personality, we are bound by the same key principles our founders, Laura & Jeff Sandefer, created over their decade in learner driven education:

Principle #1. We treat each child as a hero with the respect due a world changing genius, no matter the personality, learning style or circumstance.

Principle #2. We are bound to each other by promises outlined in contracts and a clear due process to limit adult power in our learning communities. Learners have agreed to join our communities with voluntary contractual freedoms and responsibilities.

Principle #3. We believe questions are more powerful than lectures; hence, a guide never answers questions. Instead of giving directions, guides offer choices and consequences which may include a recipe, process, example or game to further connection between other learners.

Principle #4. We believe growth mindset praises, fuels learning. Our guides offer growth mindset praise and personal testimony as encouragement, with “fresh eyes” every day. A guide may “hold up a mirror” as a reminder of promises made; however, a guide never issues grades or asks leading questions in order to manage behavior.

Principle #5. Our primary role is to equip learners to lead their own small communities. At every opportunity, our processes are modeled and handed off to learners as soon as possible.

Principle #6. Each person in our learner driven communities is on a Hero’s Journey. This means that each person understands that the most important work to be done requires the courage to look where he or she least wants to look in order to discover the next step on their own personal Hero’s Journey.

– Laura Sandefer (Acton Academy Founder)

Originally Published - March 2021:

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