Essays

Thursday, August 1, 2019
The great Greek historian and traveler Herodotus includes the following conversation with the queen of Persia in his histories. He is trying to explain how things are in the Greek democracies of the 5th century BC. Persian queen, Atossa, asked him… Read more ›
Saturday, June 1, 2019
During the Fall of 2017, Sudbury Valley hosted three guests from a school in Copenhagen called “Den Demokratiske Skole” which was inspired by SVS. Rikke Faxoe founded and was staff at the school for its seven years, until it closed in 2015. Rikke is… Read more ›
Monday, April 1, 2019
Part 1—The Architects Where can insects, rabbits, and snakes go when they’re sick or injured? Two young SVS students not only pondered this problem, they took action. They had a history of creating entire worlds out of sticks, leaves, rocks, acorns… Read more ›
Friday, February 1, 2019
Author’s note: Lots of people, and parents especially, are perplexed at best and horrified at worst, about the extensive use of computers by children these days. It is not something that they have experienced, and thus it makes them uncomfortable… Read more ›
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Introduction This essay has been prompted by a feeling of frustration that has finally led me to sit down and face an unpleasant reality: too many people think we are basically an “un-schooling” institution with some sort of added twist. Consider… Read more ›
Monday, October 1, 2018
Fifty years ago many of us gathered frequently in each other’s living rooms as we discussed and planned and wrangled with the ideas that eventually brought the Sudbury Valley School into existence in the summer of 1968. Yes, there were many people… Read more ›
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
A few months ago I went shopping with my 3-year-old son. In front of the shop door, there were six staircases, leading to the ground. While I was paying the bill, he ran toward the shop door. The staff, some customers and I were all worried that he… Read more ›
Sunday, April 1, 2018
One of the key problems every democratic system must work out for itself is the relationship between the individual and the community. Democracy, taken in its unembellished form as a system of self-government, focuses exclusively on the mechanism… Read more ›
Thursday, March 1, 2018
A New Look at Learning At the Sudbury Valley School, we have encountered a new version of the old story of the parent-child dialogue: “Where did you go?” “Out.” “What did you do?” “Nothing.” Our version is: “Where do you go?” “Sudbury Valley.” “What… Read more ›
Thursday, February 1, 2018
A Conversation about SVS between Lenore Skenazy and Daniel Greenberg Note: This interview took place on the Genesis Communication Network, on the Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show (hour 2), on October 7, 2014. Lenore Skenazy was sitting in as host for Dr… Read more ›
Monday, January 1, 2018
Note: The author is a staff member at Diablo Valley School, in Concord, CA. When I first applied to graduate school in education six and a half years ago, it did not cross my mind to become a teacher. I was much more interested in developing… Read more ›
Friday, December 1, 2017
Age Mixing, Positive and Negative Role Models, and Personal Independence1 We always felt that Sudbury Valley was the best place to develop each child’s unique potential to the fullest. That was a given for us from day one. The question is, how does… Read more ›
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
In 1992, I wrote an essay under the title “Banishing Fear”. Since I wrote that, there has been a tragic resurgence of fear permeating western culture, a resurgence that has had devastating consequences for the children growing up in this new century… Read more ›
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Sudbury Valley featured at Carnegie Hall! Those of us who were able to go to the event sponsored by John Taylor Gatto and the Odysseus Group, on November 13 were bursting-our-buttons proud, of both the school and our representative in the program at… Read more ›
Friday, September 1, 2017
Some unrelated problems that are linked after all. I don’t know why this came together for me just now, but it did. Everything simply fell into place on Tuesday night, March 10, 1992. I had completed an extraordinary novel about the Holocaust, David… Read more ›
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
I From the beginning, the goal of Sudbury Valley was to embed children in the culture of the society into which they would grow up to be adults—to treat them as full members of that society from the earliest age at which they could understand the… Read more ›
Saturday, July 1, 2017
What it Tells us About How Children Get “Educated” What are the features that we all, as human beings, share, and that are key to understanding how we function? In this essay I attempt to identify those features. Why do I care? Because when billions… Read more ›
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Since the beginning I have been wondering about the kinds of people the graduates of Sudbury Valley School would turn out to be. More to the point, I wondered what kinds of people I wanted them to be – a very personal judgment, to be sure, but… Read more ›