THE ACTON APPROACH
Arrow Academy's approach to learning is based on Acton Academy's original model grown from the vision of Laura and Jeff Sandefer in Austin, Texas. Learn more about this unique approach to education and the research that supports it by viewing the videos below or exploring some of the books we highly recommend.
21ST CENTURY LEARNING
How does learning happen at Arrow Academy?
We use the latest in educational technology for self paced mastery of reading, writing and math skills. Learners are given access to computers to allow them to utilize tools such as Khan Academy, Dreambox, Duolingo, NoRedInk, Mangahigh, and Newsela, just to name a few! Time spent with technology is intentional and limited to purposeful learning activities.
Learners regularly engage in deep Socratic discussions about topics such as heroes, history and self governance to hone critical thinking skills and the ability to powerfully think, write and speak.
Learners are involved in hands-on project based Quests to master the tools and skills needed to solve problems in the real world. Over the course of an academic session, students investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge. They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing a public product or presentation for a real audience.
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Arrow Academy purposefully guides learners to understand and manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, and make responsible decisions. Learners are regularly given opportunities to feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. One way this is achieved is through written promises and covenants that form a tightly bound community of individuals learning to form authentic friendships and honestly resolve interpersonal problems.
Arrow Academy is a learner-driven community, where students are given agency over their academic experience. Learners choose the areas in which they want to demonstrate their mastery and the tools they want to use to do so.
LEARNING FOR MASTERY
Learners at Arrow Academy are expected to achieve mastery of the skills they are learning. Our learners embrace the rigor of deep learning and find a special sense of joy in the commitment, discipline, and hard work of doing so. Learners celebrate the mastery of tools, skills and character by earning badges, assembling portfolios and taking part in public exhibitions.
We provide opportunities for students to learn and practice mindfulness. We believe that students can be better learners and citizens when they are aware of their thoughts and feelings, and when they are able to focus their attention and be present in the moment.
EXPOSURE TO NATURE
We know the importance of allowing children to spend time outdoors and having ample time exposed to nature. Arrow Academy dedicates time for nature exploration and prioritizes time for students to get outside and play.
These books have helped shape the philosophy of education embraced by Arrow Academy. We encourage your family to read these texts to inspire your educational journey and determine if Arrow Academy is the right fit for you.
by Laura Sandefer, co-founder of Acton Academy Austin
by Clark Aldrich
by Sal Khan
WHAT MAKES ARROW ACADEMY UNIQUE?
Watch this award-winning short documentary to find out what makes the Acton approach to learning different than any other school.