Educational Facility Allows for a New Way of Learning

Writer / Megan Arszman
Photographer / Robby Berry

Acton AcademyA new wave of education has debuted in Fishers with the opening of the new Acton Academy, an innovative, free-learning facility. The school, comprised of two studios in Fishers, has started its first year of operation in Hamilton County for learners aged 5 to 15.

“Our mission at Acton is to inspire every child who enters our doors to find a calling to change the world,” says Erin Duros, the founder and director of the Fishers Acton Academy. “We reference their learning path as the ‘Hero’s Journey.’”

Duros explains that the school focuses on a growth mindset for all the learners, allowing them to choose their own educational path.

“We are a learner-driven environment,” she says. “We are a mixed-age space, which shifts the power from the adults to the learners, so they take charge of their own learning by creating their own choices with their daily goal setting.”

A noticeable difference between Acton Academy and traditional schools is that the classrooms are called studios, the students are called learners, and the teachers are called guides. There are two studios, one housing 5- to 8-year-old children and the other housing 9- to 15-year-old children for the first year. A typical Acton Academy studio maxes out at 28 learners, but this year the program is debuting with a maximum of 18 per studio to help ease the transition of the learners from a traditional setting to the open concept that Acton provides.

Acton Academy“At your traditional school, each student is limited by grade-level content, but here our curriculum is determined by our learners,” Duros says.

For example, at a traditional school a child might be in kindergarten learning a kindergarten-level curriculum. However, a learner might be working at third-grade level for math because that’s where she’s at, while she might be at a lower level for reading. It’s an individualized approach to learning.

Once learners hit a middle school age, they begin apprenticeships. Duros explains that entrepreneurship is growing immensely, with innovative and passionate ideas. During the last seven weeks of school, starting in middle school, they sign up for an apprenticeship so that by the time they graduate high school, each learner will have seven to eight apprenticeships.

Acton AcademyThe program encourages growth in a learner’s critical thinking skills. With one guide per studio, the guide is there to encourage the learners to think for themselves. Questions are never answered by the guide. Instead, the guide empowers the learner to find the answers on their own through more questioning, using the resources at their disposal and working alongside peers.

Learners spend the morning on course skills, with afternoons dedicated to “quests,” or project-based learning.

Acton Academy’s two Fishers locations are at 8865 South Street, and at 8100 East 106th Street. For more info, visit

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