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Learning Design

Learning Design

At Acton Academy Del Mar, Inc, our children learn in a collaborative studio of multi-age learners.

Our flexible approach challenges each student with their own differentiated learning plan and inspires them through real-world projects and experiences.

Our Learner Driven Community puts children at the center of their learning, allowing them to create and maintain personal goals and relational covenants, as they Learn to Learn, Learn to Do, and Learn to Be.

Core Academic Skills

"Learn to Know"

Master the foundations of reading, writing, and math

Instead of one-size-fits-none teacher lectures ......

Self-paced mastery of 3rd-grade math with cutting-edge personalized technology and peer mentoring.

Quests & Projects

"Learn to Do"

Hands-on projects to master the skills needed to solve real-world problems

Instead of memorizing the periodic table ......

You are an ER doctor in a 6-week simulation.You learn the processes, tools, decision trees and facts to triage patients.

On the final-day Exhibtion, parents come with prepared "diseases." You can order an MRI, an X-ray, etc., paying for each. The winner of the simulation is the ER doc who saves the most lives (correct diagnoses) for the lowest cost.

Socratic Discussions

"Learn to Learn"

Think and speak clearly to develop wisdom and judgment


Instead of memorization to cram for the test ...

... You are Harry Truman.

  • Do you drop the bomb?
  • Reflect on this video of Hiroshima after nuclear force. Does this change your mind?
  • Reflect on this photo and personal account of a Japanese POW camp. Does this change your mind?
  • Which ethical approach is more important to you: a values approach — "We do not kill people" — or a utilitarian approach — "Fewest total lives lost"?

Servant Leadership

"Learn to Be"

Develop habits and character traits that make an abundant, fulfilling life


Instead of schools designed to minimize behavior problems ...

... Young people learn to lead by doing so, with Servant Leader Badges celebrating the most important milestones, like:

  • Leading a conflict resolution discussion
  • Developing a mentor relationship with a personal hero
  • Completing deliberate practice of a skill you want to develop
  • Mentoring a team from a younger studio
  • Leading a team in accomplishing a big goal
  • Mastering a productivity skill like the urgent-important matrix

The Hero's Journey

Learning at Acton Academy Del Mar, Inc is an invitation to a Hero's Journey. We believe that each of us has a special calling in life, and a series of trials and tests that must be faced with integrity and purpose, in order to live a life of meaning.

Our mission is to prepare everyone for his or her special journey.

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Begin your family's Journey

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