“The Acton story is most surprising in that this power shift unleashes children to care so deeply about their learning that they choose to work hard, hold tight boundaries for each other, and rise to excellence in ways we never imagined. Self-imposed rigor is integral to our daily life…” – Laura Sandefer, Courage To Grow
It’s amazing to walk into the THA studio on a Monday morning during free time and see young heroes choosing to work (on identity maps, shelters, math, reading, etc.), instead of playing. Throughout this week, several Warriors chose to use their free-time in the morning and/or during lunch to work on their Quests and Core Skills. Despite not having any homework, several Warriors choose to work from home frequently, and as a result have mastered math and reading skills way beyond their respective grade-levels.
The Survivor Quest continued to put our Warriors into real world wilderness challenges. They really enjoyed learning some basics in first aid and put those skills to the test by diving into in simulations that tested their both their knowledge and decision-making in emergency situations.
This week’s launches included:
- Monday – a discussion on the Hero’s Journey, the role of fellow travelers, and the feeling of isolation. Warriors were asked about their relationships with one another and if they ever felt isolated in the studio despite having such an amazing group of fellow travelers. When you or someone feels isolated, is it because of their own insecurities or because the people are because exclusive or because you are dealing with your own insecurities? How can we work as a studio to make sure we are not making one another feel left out? What can do if I am feeling left out?
- Tuesday – Warriors watched a video of an individual building a hut in the wilderness out of natural materials found in the wild before being asked: is it more powerful to be able to build a hut like this, teach someone to build a hut like this, or have the money to pay someone to build something like this? Warriors then talked about whether life is more desirable in the hustle and bustle of urban life or a more natural and peaceful setting.
- Wednesday – Warriors watched a few videos paying tribute to the life and contributions of Stephen Hawking. They learned about his courage and audacity to defy medical science, doctors, and experts and live over 50 years longer than predicted with such a horrible disease. They were asked what was more inspiring: his resilience in dealing with such a terrible disease, his renowned contributions to science, or something else about his Hero’s Journey.
- Thursday – Warriors discussed who is more powerful: nature or humans? They engaged in a very intriguing and insightful debate about power, influence, dependency, etc.
In art, they put finishing touches on their life-size portraits, in PE they continued their soccer unit, and during Civilization, in addition to the readings and challenges about Alexander the Great and Ancient Greece, Warriors had a blast engaging in a Civilization related Socratic discussion facilitated by a Middle School Warrior. For Writer’s Workshop, their challenges this week included completing the first drafts of their scenes, conducting peer critiques, and evaluating the “Voice” of their work.
Can’t wait for more adventures next week as we draw nearer to the Camping Trip Exhibition!