The Dragon Academy was founded in 2000 (the year of the Double Dragon in the Chinese calendar) as a progressive alternative to conventional, didactic education. Respecting the individuality, ambition and potential of adolescent learners, Dr. Meg Fox’s experiences as a student, a parent and a teacher, and her extensive research in pedagogy, educational philosophy and developmental psychology convinced her that adolescents were particularly poorly served by conventional approaches to secondary education. The Dragon Academy was founded as a laboratory school, where teachers and students could explore ways of learning and working together which would inspire creativity, freedom of expression, collaboration and a commitment to social justice, the core principles of progressive education. For members of The Dragon Academy community, school is a dynamic experience. We honour the many facets of human intelligence, exploring the treasure trove of knowledge.
From its beginning in a converted house where twelve students across six grades followed individualized programmes, The Dragon has grown to offer a full programme of regular academic classes across six grades (7 through 12), led by a remarkably gifted staff of subject specialists. Dragon graduates are now pursuing doctoral programmes in distinguished universities, from the University of Toronto to Oxford, entrepreneurial careers and public service.
We are a coveted placement for students of education at OISE and York University. We have received prestigious grants for our Integrated Progressive Science Programme and our Art of the Twenty-first Century initiative. We are engaged in collaborative educational research projects, which have included a pioneering study in the integration of art and studies in biology with faculty of the medical school at the University of British Columbia, and action research mentored by Dr. Jonathan Silin, of the Bank Street College of Education.
Dragon moves beyond the classroom. We host Breathing Fire, a reading series for emerging artists and poets, Fireside Chats with research and social justice leaders. We’ve begun a documentary film project. And, since 2013, the annual summer Roundtable Artists’ Residency, providing studio space, critique, community and exposure for emerging artists.
We’re busy planning for our next twenty years. While we believe that only a small school can deliver the kind of education we value, we’re building our capacity, bringing on exciting new faculty, expanding our partnerships with Toronto’s major academic, research and cultural institutions.. The Dragon 2020 Vision includes finding a permanent home and building our legacy. We’re already on the map. We’d like to share what we have discovered.