The book, Deeper Learning: A Blueprint for Schools in the 21st Century is based on a study of a number of schools, and an examinations of their approaches to learning. Among the conclusions made are these:

1. Most students have been shaped by passive rote learning. Therefore they do not know how to become responsible for their own learning.

2.  Successful schools need to have a school culture that places high importance on becoming self-directed and responsible learners.

3.  Teachers  cannot be the “sage on the stage”, but need to back away so students can take responsibility for their learning.

4. Effective learning requires long term effort where students must persevere until they have done high-quality work and can reflect on their growth as well as their challenges.

5.  Students who develop a sense of responsibility for their own learning are able to successfully master rigorous academic content, think critically and analytically, communicate effectively and collaborate productively.

At Willow Bend Academy, we teach students to set academic and life goals and take responsibility for reaching them.Taking responsibility does not mean that students must teach themselves. The teachers still teach.

An old Chinese Proverb states, ”When the student is ready to learn, the teacher appears”.

Our teachers stand ready and willing to explain, encourage and coach every student – and to help them understand the concept of taking responsibility for learning.  That is why we have students set and pursue academic goals rather than having the teacher tell the students what to do.  No student can use the excuse, “You didn’t tell me to do it”. They can always say, “I don’t understand. Please help me.”.  There is no shame in asking for help.

Our overarching goal is to develop students who are internally rather than externally motivated to pursue excellence.