Making, doing, tinkering, creating. At Acton Academy, we call this “learning to do.” It is the path to relevant learning and is the cornerstone of our curriculum creation.

One of my favorite spontaneous projects that happened at school this past year is when Arrows continued one of our quests, which included making a shelter, and spent the next several months collaboratively building a fort near the woods during free time and after school. All without any adult instructing or directing. Zane and the other Arrows were always so excited to show me what they’d added on to their stick-built shelter and how it would be beneficial – should they actually have to live in it!

In the spirit of “making” I encourage you to read this article for another perspective of educators on this experience:

As a final thought: “Students at a lecture have brain activity roughly equivalent to when they watch television.” (This research was shared recently by Eric Mazur, a professor of physics at Harvard in the Chronicle of Higher Education.) Hence, we do not embrace lecturing at Acton. Thanks to technology, our students can listen to the best lectures in the world on topics of their choosing, if they are so inclined. These are valuable resources they can access in their free time with their families and friends. On our watch, we run from lectures and focus on sparking curiosity and firing up their minds with real creating, working, making and tinkering. Join in the fun and come to campus and build a hut in your free time!

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