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Learning from exhibitions, whether a success or catastrophic failure

Session exhibition

As Acton heroes prepare for their third public exhibition of the year, I am reminded of how unique and wonderful learning is at Acton Academy; as well as how challenging for these courageous beings. It is these real-world challenges that foster deep learning and nurture tomorrow's leaders and thinkers.

When I was in grade school, I remember being in a school performance about parts of speech. I was to recite one line, as was each classmate. I was so focused on my one line that I lost sight of how it fit into the bigger picture of learning. In a conversation with a parent last year about a very similar experience had by her child, I came to realize how unique Acton Academy truly is. In both experiences, the performances came across polished because they were micromanaged and choreographed by the adults. Each was a successful "show"...for the adults. For her child and myself, nothing was gained because the children had no ownership of the learning or process.

Exhibitions at Acton Academy are owned entirely by the heroes and are an integral part of the Acton learning process, whether considered a success or a catastrophic failure. They are not meant to be polished nor are they a finality to learning. Learning is in the preparation when peers work together to create and encourage. Learning is in finding the courage and confidence to articulate the process and experiences to others. Learning is found in the feeling of being successfully prepared. Learning is found in being ill-prepared and having to expose your failures.

It is in the reflection afterwards that our young heroes learn to be.

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