I can argue that the psychologist, Montessori, and entrepreneur all want the same thing out of life. However, they all might approach it differently.
Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, published a theory on happiness in 1943. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is often represented by a triangle. The graphic of this triangle is divided into 5 parts. According to Maslow, if you want a "happy life", you need to complete each level of the triangle. In order to move up the hierarchy, you must be have the basic needs met before going to the next level. The largest part, at the bottom of the pyramid, begins with physiological needs. Next, safety. Then, love/belonging, and esteem. Finally, the smallest area and peak is self-actualization.
If you are a familiar with the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori, you might remember the coined phrase “cosmic purpose”. It’s the highest attainment in Montessori’s cosmic education; a Montessori education honors the whole child and the phases of emotional, physical, psychological and educational development. Dr. Montessori’s “cosmic purpose” is a counterpart to Maslow’s “self-actualization”. Both Maslow and Montessori felt that traditional education systems had the potential to be more of a hindrance than a help to development.
An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business. Usually people perceive them working with their passions. Working with your passion daily can lead to happiness. To me, an entrepreneur is colliding their passion and work.
Reaching our “self-actualization”, “cosmic purpose”, “passion” may seem unattainable to a layperson, but, to a psychologist, Montessorian, and entrepreneur it’s one and the same. In order to make a change in the world, you must understand your calling. Usher in Acton Academy!
How is this related to Acton Academy? There are striking similarities that are related to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Both have a triangle that symbolizes the journey that is taken. “We believe each person who enters Acton Academy will find a calling that changes the world.” That’s the Acton mission and it mirrors Maslow’s self-actualization.
At Acton Academy, the “Hero’s Journey” is our blueprint in finding your calling and to change the world! Once again, the triangle shape is our graphic image. Acton uses the mountain as our blueprint. It may seem cliché but it’s a concrete example for our “Eagles” (a.k.a students). A challenging mountain climb but when she/he reaches the top, the payoff is HUGE and mind-blowing. At Acton Academy, we believe that through perseverance, grit, and growth mindset a calling will be found.
Acton Academy embraces many approaches. It stands for best practices from psychology, education, and business. To quote my grandmother, who is just shy of her 90th birthday, and who taught elementary education, “Education is always going in circles, stick around long enough and you’ll see the same ideas just rebranded.” Acton one-ups all other educational realms because it takes the research and implements best practices and educational ideas immediately. No waiting for lawmakers here!
Divergent education is our path at Acton Academy. Because of our belief in best practices, in all aspects of life, many people not only educators are quickly relating to our educational shift. In just nine short years, Acton has spread throughout the United States and the world. One of our co-founders, Jeff Sandefer guided over 15 years of Socratic discussions through his Acton School of Business and continues to guide children through critical thinking (more to come about Socratic discussion at Acton in another post).
The Acton framework allows the Eagles (students) to be able to focus on their own learning goals and explore their passions. Eagles will showcase their content mastery by sharing project-based learning activities, by collaborating with peers, and by interacting with their surrounding community. The Acton environment embraces critical-thinking skills. It mirrors the real world and sets the Eagles up for success as they achieve their learning goals and find their callings. At Acton, Eagles, Guides, and even parents will find their calling to change the world as lifelong learning is paramount.
Welcome to Acton Academy and embrace the greatest adventure of your life of finding your happiness and calling!