Conversations and a Campus Continue

One of my great sources of inspiration is you – the Acton Academy parents. Every day I receive the gift of a new idea, an intriguing thought or a handy resource that excites me.

For my conversation starter this week, I wanted to share one such exchange from last week. This will be an interesting one to trigger conversations with other adults or simply to ponder on your own. It is also a timely conversation starter for you with your children who are deep into their independent projects.

Becca Cody is a thinker and a doer. Her sharp intellect melds with her open heart and easy humor to make conversations with her meaningful and fun. She recently shared a quote from Gever Tulley (founder of The Tinkering School):

“The potential for engaged learning is inversely proportional to the know-ability of the outcome.”

Becca continued: “Not only does this apply to children and how they experience the unfolding of self directed learning, but also to us as adults and how we view their learning experience. If we have a preconceived, rigid formula for how they need to be educated, we will only do our children a disservice by limiting their potential for personal growth. I FINALLY get it….after believing in it this whole time.”

Thank you for sharing, Becca.

As we watch the students in full engagement with their self-directed learning in projects this week, it is worthwile to talk with them on the idea of engaged learning; learning from doing; and teaching versus guiding. Here are some ideas of questions for you to pose:

What is a Guide?  How is a guide different from a teacher? When you want to learn something new, is it better for someone to offer you praise or tell you how to improve? When do you want to be told how to do something and when do you want to be left alone to figure it out? When you start a project, do you know how it will end? Is that good or bad?

Food for thought from the Tinkering School which will be opening a campus near our new location in East Austin:  http://blog.ted.com/2009/02/19/tinkering_schoo/

Update on our future: We met this week with our architecture/construction team. The civil engineer is 60 days out from approved plans and 30 days out from the final site development permit. The plat should be approved in approximately 30 days. The issues that have been holding us up have been waste water, storm water and foundation planning. We are still on target for moving in next summer. Please note: the reason you don’t get regular updates is simply that there haven’t been any. We will keep you informed if changes occur. For now, you have the architectural plans and the timeframe. We are moving forward with vigor.

So we’re moving on up… to the the east side…..

Many of you have joined me in personal exploration of our new stomping grounds. The Manor Road area in East Austin is ripe with unique and yummy restaurants, coffee shops and art venues. The opportunities for a finding a spot for a good time with family and friends will only grow as the months tick by. How fun when the new Austin Children Museum opens in our neck of the woods! If you haven’t started exploring yet, you may want to add this to your summer fun. Some parents who have some good scoop on things going on out east: Rebecca, Katharine, Colleen, Sheila and Ryan.

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