Profound Learning

Elevating Students to Reach New Heights Through Empowerment

Profound Learning is an empowerment model of education that elevates student learning to heights not achievable using the traditional ‘command and control’ industrial age model of education. Allowing students to take control of and responsibility for their own learning has proven to increase motivation and the effectiveness of learning. Along with high academic excellence, the Profound Learning model prepares students for their future with a focus on innovation and creativity.

A Proven Model

Master’s Academy & College, founded in 1997 by Tom Rudmik, is the prototype school where Profound Learning is being developed. Master's has gained international recognition for becoming one of the top performing K-12 schools in North America by implementing the Profound Learning Model of Education. Over the years, Master’s students have consistently out performed provincial norms for excellence.

The Fraser Institute, Canada's largest independent think-tank, has ranked Master's Academy the number one school in Alberta for several years running.

Learn more about Master's Academy & College

A Framework Built on the Future

Here are some of the differences between the traditional model of education and Profound Learning


  • Industrial age
  • Assembly line
  • Classroom centric
Learning Outcome
  • Excellence for the few
  • Demands & expects
  • Conformity
  • Compliance

Profound Learning

  • 21st century learning
  • Personalized
  • Learner centric
Learning Outcome
  • Excellence for the majority
  • Activates
  • Innovation
  • Creativity

Challenging Orthodoxy

Innovation is fuelled by the ability to challenge orthodoxy or dogma of the system. The factory model of education was established on the following two axioms: the time to learn is fixed and the quality of learning is variable. These axioms have gone unchallenged for decades, which have led educators to believe that student performance in the system is primarily a reflection of their ability to learn and not a by-product of the system itself.

The Profound Learning model challenges the orthodoxy of education. In order to create a system where the time to learn is personalized and the quality of learning is tight, new systems were invented through which learning is delivered and managed.

The difference is in the details

Traditional model
Profound Learning

Time to learn is fixed

Time to learn is variable

Quality of learning is variable

Quality of learning is fixed

Focus on the content

Focus on the learner

What to learn

How to learn

Teacher dictated

Student choice

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Traditional model
Profound Learning

Teacher assessment

Student self-assessment

Primarily lecture based

Primarily discovery based

Passive learning

Active learning

Teacher as ‘sage on the stage’

Teacher as colleague

Subjects taught in silos

Information connected between subjects

Teacher responsible for student learning

Student responsible for learning

Focus on summative assessment

Focus on formative assessment

Teachers tracking student marks

Students tracking their own learning

The bell curve predicts percentage of students reaching excellence

All students are capable of reaching excellence

Learning is paced according to calendar year

Learning is paced according to student needs

Goal is to finish curriculum

Goal is to close gaps in learning

Often working against the brain

Incorporate neuroscience principles

Developing academics

Developing the whole child

Profound Learning is a system of education where the vast majority of students achieve academic excellence, not the few. Where student motivation with learning skyrockets as they engage in meaningful learning experiences. Where students, teachers and parents experience a level of joy not possible in the traditional command and control system. Where students are prepared with Future Ready skills essential for the world of tomorrow.

Profound Learning layers

A Foundation to Build On

Who the Student is Becoming

Imaginal thinking and leadership
Future Ready
Developing skills for the world of tomorrow

Foundation for Academic Success

Ownership and empowerment
Brain-based learning

The Layers of Profound Learning

The Profound Learning model does what traditional education does not. Students attain high academic achievement through ownership and mastery, and become equipped for the world of tomorrow through innovation and future ready skills.


The foundational layer of student Ownership is achieved by providing the student with tools and processes to track their own learning and take ownership of where they need improvement. The Geenius digital platform allows for real time data to be collected and monitored by teachers. Putting the responsibility for learning in the hands of the students requires shifting one’s thinking about teaching and learning.

What does Ownership look like?
  • Student perspective and opinion is recognized
  • Student feedback is gathered and interpreted
  • Students are given choice
  • Students track their learning and set goals
  • Students are given leadership opportunities
  • Students are managing their own projects
  • Students are given the responsibility for learning


The second layer is Mastery, where the vast majority of students attain a high level of academic success. Mastery is the result of students self-assessing against curricular outcomes and quality benchmarks. Student learning is elevated through differentiated instruction and the timely feedback of formative assessment. Each of these factors, and more, are possible due to students engaging in meaningful brain-compatible Learning Adventures designed by teachers using the Geenius platform.

What does Mastery look like?
  • Learning is customized (environment, passion/interest, ability levels)
  • Instruction is differentiated (amount/type)
  • Quality is fixed
  • Time to learn is personalized
  • Success for all is the goal
  • Learning gaps are identified and closed


The third layer is Innovation, where students experience the process of becoming Imaginal Leaders. An Imaginal Leader can see future scenarios, learn from these futures and create their preferred future. Seeing future scenarios is based on our ability to recognize and interpret strong signals or trends from the future but which are present today. By researching and analyzing trends, students can construct probable, plausible and possible scenarios of the future. From these scenarios, opportunities for innovation are explored and considered while designing a preferred future.

What does Innovation look like?
  • Uniqueness is encouraged
  • Thinking beyond improvement to transformation/design
  • Use of creative processes and tools
  • Use of problem solving/critical thinking skills
  • Creating that which has never been done before
  • Pursuing personal passion and vision
  • Becoming Imaginal