Seeking a 21st century education for their children, Laura and Jeff Sandefer jumped off the track of conventional school and designed a new model for learning. They created Acton Academy as a better school where learning is made practical and meaningful, and where students begin a lifelong Hero’s Journey to discover their true potential.
Using the Socratic method, elements of the Montessori approach and state-of-the-art online instruction, Acton guides students toward independence and self-motivation, helping them find the courage to grow into the person they were meant to be.
Designed by parents
THE ACTON NETWORK
Soon, other educators licensed their own Acton Academies and less than a decade from the seven founding students’ first Socratic discussion; Acton has spread around the world. Today, the Acton global network is the biggest education global forum in the world. Assesing best practices and sharing knowledge in real time.
Head of School
I simply fell in love with the model once I understood how it prepares children early on to deal with the challenges that accompany us throughout the rest of our adult lives.
Traditional and alternative educator. Experienced Montessori, Waldorf and Socratic guide. I'm fortunate to have collaborated with institutions large and small, either with traditional or alternative approaches. And in many ways I've seen it all. My long and passionate relationship with education began at the American Institute of Monterrey, which for 10 years represented a more formative experience than my university career itself. Later on, I discovered Montessori pedagogy, working in various positions both as a guide and later as director at Colegio Montessori Sierra Madre. Discovering this pedagogy led me to a completely different conception of "the child," as Maria Montessori refers to the young. That was the beginning of a new light in my professional journey. A brief encounter with Waldorf pedagogy in my experience at Casa del Río (now Aldea Escuela Bosque) added a new layer of understanding of what being a young person entails and the possibilities that adults have at their disposal to intentionally accompany and enrich the journey of each girl and boy around us. At the end of 2018, I discovered Acton Academy through an unexpected phone call. Everything I heard about this method from the other end of the line made me more curious. Learners made public exhibitions instead of taking exams. They got community awarded badges as proof of knowledge. Their guides answered questions from students with further Socratic questions. I saw education becoming a set of challenges with clear expectations in an ideal setting and with the relevant tools at hand. A child fully empowered to discover the most relevant aspect of our human existence, our relationship to the world and its challenges. In the spring of 2019, I attended a week of immersion in Acton Academy Guatemala, and my love and respect for Acton Academy has only solidified. I am blessed to discover daily in each of the boys and girls, the guides, and the parents a unique person navigating their personal path. Acton Academy MTY is a beautiful community and meet up place for restless families who sincerely question their children's formative experiences in those early precious years.
2019 - Current
ACTON ACADEMY MONTERREY
Head of School & Owner
Jun 2019 - Present
2016 - 2019
COLEGIO MONTESSORI SIERRA MADRE
Early Childhood Director
Jun 2016 - Jun 2019
CASA DEL RÍO
Waldorf Apprentice Guide
Jun 2015 - Jun 2016
COLEGIO MONTESSORI SIERRA MADRE
English Department Coordinator
Jun 2012 - Mar 2015
Lower Elementary English Guide
Jun 2010 - Jun 2012
AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF MONTERREY
Jun 2007 - Jun 2010
5th Grade Teacher
Sep 2000 - Jun 2007
Wonder Studio Guide
Acton allows children to develop their social connections and personal skills through life experiences. Responding to their interests and following their rhythm is key to providing a nurturing and safe environment.
While studying for my bachelor’s degree in Economics I discovered the Montessori method. After I graduated I pursued this interest which later became my life-long passion. I became an early childhood Montessori Guide, then studied Constructivism, and most recently obtained a Reggio Emilia facilitator certificate.
Spark Studio Guide
Callings present themselves with the power of changing the path of one’s life. One day I received a phone call and accepted the invitation to visit Acton on a significant day: the exhibition.
I was marveled as I witnessed a group of independent children, focused on their projects, and capable of leading their parents through the event all by themselves.
I was a medical student planning to become a pediatrician when I discovered the Montessori method while looking for a school for my oldest daughter, Victoria. My life changed right then. My family and I were living in Mexico City when I became an early childhood Montessori Guide and additionally decided to study Pedagogy.
Observing the development of the Spark students is a privilege that gives me a profound sense of purpose.
Discovery Studio Guide
Montessori and the Socratic method are the perfect match to equip children with the tools to face the day-to-day challenges that life presents them. I’m impressed by how energetic and happy they arrive at Acton every morning.
I have a bachelor's degree in Clinical Psychology with postgraduate studies in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. My understanding of the Montessori method comes from first-hand experience as I attended a Montessori school from early childhood until I graduated from middle school. Acton allows me to fulfill my two passions, At Acton I’m an accomplice of the learning experiences children undergo and the sense of self each of them are discovering.
Acton Academy Mty holds an international accreditation from the International Association of Learner Driven Schools (IALDS), an accrediting institution recognized by the Department of Education of the State of Texas. At Acton Academy, we believe in the talents and abilities of our learners, as well as in the development of competencies and skills.
THE ACTON ACADEMY FOUNDER'S STORY
Courage to Grow:
How Acton Academy Turns Learning Upside Down
Courage to Grow is the Sandefer family’s personal quest for their own children’s education and happiness. Their story also contains a path for other parents who want to give their children the freedom to take ownership of their own education and to start their own school. The treasure at the end is much larger than Laura ever expected—a quickly growing network of dedicated, curious young people and parents who are not afraid to set them free.
We encourage prospective families to read the book and get acquainted further with the Acton approach to learning. It's a very exciting and telling read you won't regret.