At Acton Academy, we don’t issue grades. Instead, we invite the outside world to gauge the quality of our Eagles’ work through public exhibitions.
Whether it’s a play, a Casino Night, Hero Speeches, a public display of board and electronic games or trying to triggers dozens of Rube Goldberg inventions without a miss, exhibitions require thoughtful design, relentless hours of deliberate practice and a great deal of courage. They are difficult to pull off well.
Add to this the difficulty of drawing an objective audience; parents are always welcome, but outsiders raise the stakes even higher. Yet to attract paying customers, you have to offer something special.
All of this makes it tempting for the Guides to guarantee that the Eagles shine; polishing a bit of work here or making an important suggestion to keep from suffering a catastrophic failure. Such interventions almost always a mistake, because it teaches dependence, not independence; and still, no one wants parent to think that our young heroes aren’t learning.
Bottom line: We’re still learning a lot about exhibitions, with many more lessons yet to come.