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 grades 4 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, professional and entrepreneurial careers, the arts, 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, including a pioneering study in the integration of art and studies in biology with faculty of the medical school at the University of British Columbia. We are committed to our own ongoing action research, studying ourselves under the mentorship of Dr. Jonathan Silin, of the Bank Street College of Education.
Looking to the future, we are raising funds to purchase and equip our own facilities, to provide leadership in curriculum innovation which will be freely accessible, and to continue expansion of our student body and teaching staff. While we believe that only a small school can deliver the kind of education we value, we anticipate reaching our capacity of 150 students. The Dragon vision includes adjunct activities, including our reading series and publishing ventures. We’re already on the map. We’d like to share what we have discovered.