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Freedom Academy uses the Agile Learning Centers (ALC) Educational Model.
Everything we do springs from TRUST, in students, in each other, in ourselves. It is the soil that nurtures independence and responsibility. We are grounded by these 4 root premises:
The ALC Model: Courses
Extending from the roots, we have 12 branches, our guiding principles as we continually develop and evolve new tools and practices.
Agility: Make tools and practices flexible, adaptable, easy to change or change back again. Too much change all at once can be disorienting — try gentle changes over multiple iterations to see what’s working.
Infinite Play: Play infinitely, grow infinitely. Play is one of the most powerful paths to growth. The concept of infinite play reminds us that games aren’t about winning; changing rules and boundaries is part of playing, letting players constantly expand the game of outrageous personal growth to incorporate new players and new frontiers.
Amplifying Agency: Ensure tools support personal choice and freedom as well as responsibility for those choices. Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in designing and upgrading the structures which guide them.
Culture Creation: Acknowledge and use the water you’re swimming in. We shape culture; culture shapes us. A powerful, positive culture is the strongest, most pervasive support structure a learning community can have. Develop collective mastery rather than restrictive rule-making. Intentional culture building supports intentionality in other domains as well.
Facilitation: Clarify, simplify, and connect. Don’t introduce unnecessary complexity. Connect kids to the larger social capital of their community, collaborate with them in problem solving, and accompany them in their learning as they grow.
Visible Feedback: Make choices, patterns, and outcomes visible to participants so they can tune their future behavior accordingly. Make the implicit explicit and expand transparency. These practices empower and build trust among community members.
Relationship: Be real. Be accepting. Respect differences. Authentic relationship is the basis of partnership, communication, collaboration, and trust between students and staff. Support self-expression, self-knowledge and self-acceptance, letting the experience of nurturing relationship teach the power of interrelatedness and community.
Support: Provide maximum support with minimal interference. Create helpful structures, practices, and environments without making their decisions for them or managing their processes. Remember that support that takes up too much space becomes counterproductive.
Respect for each other’s time and space: Hold no unnecessary meetings. Keep all meetings tight, productive and participatory. Honor commitments, as well as scheduled start and end times for happenings. Check-in before creating work for someone else. Be thoughtful about taking up shared space.
Full-spectrum Fluency: Embrace multiple intelligences, modes of expression, and learning styles. Nurture multiple literacies. A functional education for today’s world needs to focus on more than just “book-learning.” Social, relational, digital, and a variety of other skill sets are now essential.
Shareable Value: Make value received from learning visible and sharable. Use tracking systems, record measurable progress, generate documentation (blogs, portfolios, images), and teach others.
Safer Space-making: Provide an environment of physical, social, and emotional safety. Set and keep critical boundaries. Foster great freedom within an appropriate frame of safety and legality, so that kids’ energy can be freed up to focus on learning instead of protecting themselves.
The ALC Model: Our Philosophy
Learning is natural. It is happening all the time.
People learn best by making their own decisions. Children are people.
People learn more from their culture and environment than from the content they are taught. The medium is the message.
Accomplishment is achieved through cycles of intention, creation, reflection and sharing.
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