One of the most innovative education programs in the world is right here in Lincoln, NE!
As I scroll my LinkedIn Account and read daily news articles on education innovation, I can't help but think... Man we have one of the best schools in the world right here in Lincoln, Nebraska!
In an attempt to understand where each of our prospective families is coming from, I make a point of asking our all our families who tour our school in southwest Lincoln, "what is one thing you wish you would have had the chance to learn in school?" I also posted this on my social media accounts recently and despite the wide variety of answers, without exception I find myself answering the same way... We do that here at our private school.
Seeing what other thinkers are wishing for in education like what Trevor Soponis, PhD posted recently, “We need new models of learning. … it’s about empowering students to not move at the speed of the teacher or their classmates. Or even study the same thing,” has prompted me to realize what we have here at Infinity School.
I’m seeing big dreams for interdisciplinary programs, high schools that don’t make teenagers start at 8am, and hopes to see the programs not revolve around a curriculum that is painfully outdated. Guess what, we’re already doing all of that here!
Reading all of these posts on LinkedIn and wishes for change in education, I’ve really been thinking about what “education innovation” means. To me, innovation is a process of questioning, reinventing, and trying. It is asking big questions that we might not like the answers to in our pursuit of removing old ways of thinking to make room for new ways of growth.
Education Innovation questions are ones like these:
I also believe that innovation in education is about creating systems and processes that make it possible for the program to essentially run itself. And putting the ability to change these systems in the hands of those they most affect — the learners.
Over the past five years I have watched the handful of brave six to eight-year-olds who walked through our doors on the day we opened from thinking inside the public school box to people who can project manage, lead others even when a few of those others are difficult and not contributing, ask incredible questions, and do tough things. And they are happy.
This handful of learners five years ago has grown to almost forty children and youth doing school differently.
When we ask them what they like the most about this program, we usually hear two things: I love the freedom to be myself and learn how I learn, and all the adults are really nice here. We don’t hear about how innovative we are or about the myriad of things we have done to make this program one of the leading systems in education. These Eagles simply know that they matter and that their love of learning continues to grow. Maybe that’s truly what education innovation is about.
Co-founder & Director of Acton Academy Infinity
Originally blog published on Infinity School Blog