About Rick Ackerly

Rick Ackerly is a nationally recognized educator and speaker with 45 years of experience working in and for schools.

With a master’s in education from Harvard University, Rick has devoted his career to building thriving learning communities.  He has served as headmaster of four independent schools and has been a consultant and coach to teachers, school leaders and parents for many years.

Rick speaks to parent and school groups across the country. He also presents at numerous education conferences including the People of Color Conference, the California Association of Independent Schools, the Coalition of Essential Schools, the Symposium on Students with Learning Disabilities, Progressive Education Network, the National Association of Episcopal Schools, and the Pacific Rim Conference.  He has been an active participant in the annual “Call to Action” conference sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools’ Office on Diversity and Multicultural Education.

His articles about education and diversity have appeared in The Independent School, Multicultural Education, Education Week, the New York Times. Rick publishes a new essay each week on his blog www.geniusinchildren.org. The second edition of his first book, The Genius in Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity and Creativity in Children (Lyons Press/Globe Pequot Press 2012) is available on his website.



  1. Idea Babies – 4 Ways To Kindle Genius | Janet Lansbury - January 27, 2011

    […] more exciting and productive is the definition of genius that educator Rick Ackerly ascribes to in an engaging, inspiring and informative book I highly recommend, The Genius In […]

  2. When Difficult Kids Turn Out Alright | THE OCD DIARIES - March 9, 2012

    […] you haven’t seen his blog yet, you need to do yourself a favor and bookmark it. Every parent should read his […]

  3. Montessori Makes the Economist (look a little foolish) | The Montessori Observer - September 16, 2013

    […] interesting.  Nationally recognized educator, speaker, and advocate for progressive education Rick Ackerly picked up on the piece and posted about it on his blog, The Genius In Children.  (He’s got […]

  4. Why not ask students what makes an educational app engaging? By Annie Fox, M.Ed. | AppsyMap.com - June 17, 2014

    […] Rick Ackerly, educator, former school head, and author of The Genius in Every Child, agrees and goes on to say, “The difference between schooling and real education is that the child does it for him or herself. Every brain is constructing knowledge all the time.” According to Rick, what makes an app educational is that app designers have “created the conditions in which the brain constructs knowledge.” […]