by Jeff Sandefer June 15, 2015
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.