Mainstream education emphasises acquiring standardised credentials that are granted to students after they proved that they have certain knowledge or skills. The student is seen as a passive learner and the teacher as the person responsible for providing the knowledge and giving feedback.
The Maverick Academy recognises that hiring highly-paid educators to teach autistics is not an effective and sustainable model of education. Autistics naturally have difficulty applying abstract knowledge into the real world. Many of them have already in-depth knowledge of some specialised subjects and may know more than their teachers in these areas while having no interest in other subjects deemed important by teachers.
The Maverick Academy facilitates autistics to be responsible for driving their education and learning – rather than paying expensive course fees to get someone to teach them, the autistics go out into the world to learn by themselves (whether it is to go to YouTube, take a hands-on course, or buy a book). This way, they can use their most suitable learning strategies at the lowest cost.
Within the Maverick Academy, participants are both teachers and students. They work in teams to impart knowledge, skills, and experience to each other while working on applying what they learn to the real world.
The Maverick Academy works with the Freelancer Job Agency to inform autistics of the skills gap and to come up with a learning plan with an emphasis on real-life experiences, self-directed learning and unconventional problem-solving. It arranges for autistics to tutor each other by sharing subjects of their strengths and be tutored on subjects of their weaknesses. It arranges with allies to provide real-world experiences for autistics, whether it is to practice/learn dating or programming skills.
One of the unique things the Academy will teach will be an approach inspired by Waldorf Education. There will be a strong emphasis on mastering the invisible understanding behind the human being. For example, a deep understanding of relationships, individual choice, voice communications, stages of life, physical space, rhythmic time. This is the invisible curriculum that many non-autistic people take for granted, but adult autistics will have to master in order to overcome the limitations of autism.
For autistics who prefer traditional courses and certification, the Maverick Academy can work with or advise course providers on creating autism-friendly courses. For instance, counselling courses for autistic students who only wish to work for other autistics may not need require the assessment of body language but focus on the content on the conversation instead.