The cornerstone of learning is freedom.
Children forced to learn will do only enough to satisfy the teacher or parent. Whatever they learn is easily forgotten. But those who learn out of their own choice and interest will retain that knowledge for a lifetime.
WHAT IS FREEDOM ACADEMY?
Freedom Academy is the first Self-Directed Learning Community and Agile Learning Center in Davao City, Philippines. Our facility is for families who believe that learning should not be confined to the four walls of a classroom, that children should be free to explore, play and pursue their interests at their own pace and in their own time, and with whomever they wish to share that experience.
Simply put, self-directed education means that learners are in charge of how they spend their time and what they want to achieve. There are no curricular or academic requirements such as quizzes or exams -- unless requested by the child in their own pursuit of mastery and knowledge. Adults act as Facilitators whose role is to support, encourage and assist (but never to impose or force an agenda).
As a community, we intentionally co-create and evolve a culture of social responsibility, where adults and children practice respect and consent. Conflicts are resolved or prevented by open, honest and conscious communication and by a desire to create a harmonious and supportive atmosphere -- a place where we want to come to every single day.
DRAWING OUT, NOT STUFFING IN
Education comes from the Latin word educare which means "to draw out." Our approach is about drawing out our students' inner brilliance rather than stuffing information in.
OFFERINGS, NOT CLASSES
Instead of mandatory classes, students, facilitators and even parents create "offerings" -- activities where others offer to share their time and expertise to those willing to join.
CONSENT, NOT CURRICULUM
All activities are voluntary. No one is forced to do anything against their will. No required study material, quizzes, exams, papers, projects. Ever.
CREATIVITY, NOT CONFORMITY
We promote a culture that accepts a wide variety of self-expression (within the limits of legality, safety and social acceptability). We do not require uniforms, prescribe haircuts or any other such arbitrary rules.
We call our adult staff members ‘facilitators’ rather than teachers. Their role is to support our learners in identifying and pursuing their interests and create a positive culture by using different approaches such as agile tools, coaching, mentoring, and even teaching.
FREEDOM, NOT FEAR
Freedom provides the healthiest foundation for learning. Kids learn because they want to, not because they fear a failing grade, or a parent's reprimand, or society's scorn.
Children don't like school because like all human beings, they crave freedom, and in school they are not free.
- Peter Gray
When school isn't working, we blame the students, we blame the teachers and administrators. But what if the problem lies with the entire way that we assume schooling must happen?
- Blake Boles
In the educational process, students should be offered a wide variety of ways to learn...They do not have to learn different things the same way.