Essays

Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Mimsy: This is a recording of an interview with Alli Harvey, who graduated in 2004, and we reproduced the actual recording here. She lives in Alaska, and comes to Massachusetts to visit her family here. At the time of this conversation,… Read more ›
Monday, June 21, 2021
Somewhat to my surprise, I have recently gained a new insight into a key element of what goes on here, in an area that I thought had been thoroughly analyzed from ever-so-many angles from the very first days of the school’s founding. It came… Read more ›
Thursday, April 1, 2021
One of the objections most frequently raised against Sudbury Valley School as an appropriate educational environment for children growing up in contemporary America is that the school, in focusing on self-knowledge, promotes the development of… Read more ›
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
You could be forgiven for thinking that this is a silly question. After all, it’s fun to play, and what more of a reason does one need? But why is it fun? Why has Nature provided our species with an activity such as this that is fun, so that we’ll… Read more ›
Thursday, December 10, 2020
As I write, I am looking outside at the beautiful campus in the morning sun. Children of all ages are all over – running, playing, calling each other, romping. Inside, voices can be heard from the adjacent rooms – and sometimes floating up from the… Read more ›
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
As Hanna tells the story, one day she and Mikel were chatting and casually looking out the window, when they spotted two of our youngest students walking down the road towards school, deep in an animated conversation. The scene prompted Mikel to… Read more ›
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Hanna: I am talking to Teddy Barnes, who is 17. He has been in school 2½ years and has served on the JC twice, the second time in October, 2017. Hanna: Teddy, have you ever been brought up? Teddy: I have—for littering, once which was an accident, of… Read more ›
Thursday, June 4, 2020
The vast enterprise that has been created for the purpose of educating all of the nation’s youth is founded on a number of hypotheses. Together, they give the appearance of a powerful set of assumptions that cannot be reasonably challenged. They… Read more ›
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
“Do what you wish.” Readers, at least those of my generation, might remember this motto from Michael Ende’s book The Neverending Story1. The student Bastian, hero of this romantically tortuous coming-of-age novel, finds the call to do what he wants… Read more ›
Friday, February 21, 2020
Hanna reads her blog, Celebrating Fairhaven At 20 posted June 18, 2018, in which she gives her perspective as a visitor at Fairhaven the day before the Interview took place.   Mark: We’re here with Hanna Greenberg, who is a guest, and we’re going… Read more ›
Sunday, December 1, 2019
I am writing this on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Neue Schule Hamburg, to offer congratulations and a tiny bit of retrospection. I work at Sudbury Valley School, in the United States, and we are celebrating our 50th anniversary this year… Read more ›
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
  The Circumstance that Drives Evolution The key factor that enables evolution to take place is the uniqueness of each individual in every species, which in turn guarantees a wide variation in the nature and characteristics of the individuals… Read more ›
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 ›