Resources on Our Model
"Sudbury Valley School in Framingham, Massachusetts--a school that I helped found in 1968--was the first fully democratic school in the US. Others have now been founded all over this country and in many other parts of the world. The schools share a deep commitment to the idea that children deserve nothing less than the full set of rights and freedoms that adults receive in our society, and that in such a setting children have the best opportunity to learn, to develop their sense of responsibility, to define their value systems, and to grow into productive, self-motivated adults."
Here is a list of a just a few of our favorite readings and links related to our school and the way we do things. Sudbury Valley School maintains an extensive library of online articles. A starting group of articles about the theory of the school can be found here
A Thousand Rivers: What the modern world has forgotten about children and learning
Can Children "Learn" Anything at Sudbury Valley School?
Entertainment, Boredom, and Responsibility: Fundamental lessons in education
Exposure to Violence: Can exposure to violence be prevented, and if so, should this be our goal?
Joy in the Pursuit of Proficiency: A Sudbury parent watches his children learn new skills (written by an A&I parent)
Media Exposure: Students, Parents, and Trust
A Paradigm Shift for Parents of a Child in a Sudbury School: Redefining common assumptions about education and how kids learn
Students Talk about Parental Concerns: Students answer questions from parents about Sudbury Schools
Sudbury Valley School: The Easiest School or the Hardest?
We Are all Gifted and Talented: Reflections on labels and categories in education
Why Not Offer Classes?: Why class offerings distract from the purpose of Sudbury education
Tomorrow's Teacher, Tomorrow's School (video)
Sudbury Valley School: Focus and Intensity (video)
Changing Education Paradigms: an animation of a talk by Sir Ken Robinson
"Voices from the New American Schoolhouse" is a documentary about the Fairhaven School (another Sudbury School) in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. There are different chapters of "New American Schoolhouse" that cover different aspects of Sudbury schooling that can be individually accessed on YouTube.
This blog by acclaimed author and research professor, Dr. Peter Gray of Boston College, is a wonderful resource about education, children, and parenting. His son, Scott Gray, attended Sudbury Valley School and is now a staff member there. Some of Dr. Gray's posts, among many, which are related to our type of school are:
- How Does School Wound? Kirsten Olsen Has Counted Some Ways
- Kids Learn Math Easily When They Control Their Own Learning
- Children Teach Themselves to Read
- Minimally Invasive Education: Lessons from India
- Children Educate Themselves 1: Outline of Some Evidence
There are also a variety of other Sudbury schools whose websites can give a general flavor of the model. We are all quite independent with unique and interesting differences, but these are schools that we feel share a similar vision for running a school.
- Sudbury Valley School The school that inspired it all since the late 1960s.
- The Circle School Around since 1984 and in Harrisburg, PA, they are working to fund a new building.
- Fairhaven Near Washington D.C. They provided the legal model for our school.
- Hudson Valley School This has some great videos explaining their school.
- Philly Free School In Philadelphia, this is another urban school similar to ours.
... and many more, all over the world.