The big day finally arrives…Freud vs Jung; Machiavelli vs Victor Frankl; Plato vs Carol Dweck. Some of the world’s foremost experts in motivation stand toe to toe, debating which theory best describes human behavior.
Tension was high with last minute preparations.
The opening: rock, paper, scissors to see who goes first. The Opener has two minutes “in the box” minimum to begin; three maximum. The Challenger follows. Each then has two minutes to rebut and another one minute to close.
The pace was fast; the barbs sharp. Allegations of logical fallacies were as thick as the ethos; pathos and logos. But in the end, only one Motivation Hero would be the winner for each pair.
After the debates, each Eagle has two minutes to show his or her Personal Learning Plan, an electronic portfolio that describes an individualized learning plan for the year – created by the Eagle.
Parents and visitors then tour the studio looking at writing samples and displays of individual work.
Who won? It would be easy to every Eagle, because there was so much learning. But at Acton Academy, just as in the real world, not everyone gets a trophy. Failure is just too big a part of learning to ignore.
In the debrief, the question was asked: Do we want to equip and inspire successful Eagles or Eagles who succeed and fail? The Eagles unanimously supported the latter, and firmly rejected the idea that everyone should win an award. Our Eagles know they are preparing for the real world.
In the debrief, Eagles describe three kinds of failures:
- When you prepare all you can and leave everything on the field, but come up short;
- When you prepare all you can, but make some mistake that costs you a victory;
- When you don’t put your heart into preparing, and aren’t ready to compete.
The first type of failure is noble; you can’t ask for more. The second is a learning opportunity. The third happens and should be acknowledged, but never excused.