What is a student-driven learning environment? At TVS, we believe that Heroes should be the driving force behind their education. The guide’s role is to provide an environment: arc of inspiration, empowerment, and accountability, but Heroes make the crucial choices.
So what would happen if the Heroes were left alone for the day? We have a recent example of the Heroes doing just that. (Of course, there were adults supervising just in case! We thank our studio volunteers gratefully for their time.)
Monday morning began with a launch and a fast-paced discussion, which two Heroes devised surrounding an ethical question. Then the Heroes sorted themselves into Super Squads to set SMART goals and coached one another. Then Core Skills commenced: Heroes learning math, reading, spelling, and grammar by teaching themselves. Independently, they transitioned at 11 a.m. and went to a Hero-led P.E. class. They practiced gymnastics and soccer skills. The Heroes enjoyed lunch and free time (an important part of the day) and then two Heroes led a 45-minute Socratic Discussion about Ancient Rome, our Civilization challenge for this week. Following that, another Hero took over and supervised DEAR (drop everything and read) by providing book suggestions and inspiring “What if…?” questions. As a group, they cleaned up their studio and celebrated a Hero birthday at close. An independent, Hero-run day.
On Monday, our team traveled to Austin for the Acton Owner’s Conference. We came with questions and left with more questions (of course) but also reflections, new ideas, and a toy figurine of a tiger. Jeff Sandefer shared this anecdote, “A scientist once studied tigers. He knew everything there was to know about tigers. Until the day that he saw a tiger in the wild. Its beauty and grace astounded him, and he exclaimed, ‘All this time I have been studying tigers in captivity. This wild tiger has shown me that I know nothing about tigers.'”