A Simpler Model Is Not Always Best by Jeff Sandefer

We often contrast Acton Academy’s “Learn to Learn; Learn to Do and Learn to Be” goals with the “Learn to Know” approach favored by traditional schools.

Recently I realized our view of traditional schools is incomplete.  The full mantra is more accurately stated as: “Learn to Know; Learn to Obey.”

In most traditional environments young people are rewarded for doing as they are told (Learn to Obey.)  No character development or critical thinking required; simply memorize a slew of facts and it will be assumed that you have mastered a subject (Learn to Know.)

It’s a far simpler model than Acton Academy.  Our approach requires messy real world challenges (Learn to Do;) choosing a process and path (Learn to Learn;)  and the courage to forge character by battling pressure, ambiguity and failure on a Hero’s Journey (Learn to Be.)

In most cases, the simpler the better.  But not when you are preparing young heroes for life changing callings in the tumultuous 21st Century.

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