Announcing The Forest School's "Overarching Question" for the 2019-2020 school year!


We're thrilled to share that after great discussion, brainstorming, and feedback from learners, parents, and Guides, we have "landed the plane" on an overarching question for The Forest School's second year.

The 2019-2020 overarching question will be...

Drum roll please...

Who determines the path of a hero's journey?

Here’s how this question will be broken down over the year:

Session questions:

  1. Call to adventure

  2. Meeting the mentor

  3. Crossing the threshold 

  4. The abyss (including trials and failures)

  5. Revelation 

  6. Transformation & Atonement 

  7. Return


 Context and significance:

Each year at The Forest School we will choose an overarching question to guide our curriculum planning and tie together various aspects of the day into one cohesive package. Throughout the year, Guides and learners return to this question over and over.

For example, here are some of the ways that another Acton Academy tied back to the question "What motivates a hero?" Each student wrote a own personal motivational motto to stick onto his or her desk. The topic of one Socratic discussion was, “What motivates you more: hearing a hero’s story, setting and reaching your own goals, being publicly recognized for your effort and work, or being able to track your progress with a system of points and rewards?” For a project, learners considered, “As an entrepreneur, are you more motivated to use your gifts and talents, make the greatest profit, or fill the greatest need?”

Examples of overarching questions other Acton Academies have used in previous years include:
* What does it mean to be human? Can a robot become a human or vice versa?
* Does power corrupt?
* Does the past determine the future?
* What motivates a hero?
* When does a Hero submit to authority?
* Must a Hero conquer fear to find true love?

In deciding our overarching question, we knew that some of our learners and parents/caregivers wanted to share ideas and feedback before the overarching question was finalized.

In the spirit of brainstorming (ie, there were no wrong answers), we loved hearing awesome suggestions from multiple community members.

In the end, we were inspired most by choosing a question for this year that allowed us to help learners think deeply about their own purpose and to help them build purpose seeking skills.

If you have ideas for how we can make the most of the above questions, we welcome your feedback on our Facebook page.

banner image via

Tyler Thigpen