Essays

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 ›
Monday, May 1, 2017
First published in vol. 44 of the Sudbury Valley School Journal, Spring, 2015. Pretty much all of us are familiar with the phrase in our Declaration of Independence that asserts that every person possesses three “inalienable rights”—“life, liberty,… Read more ›
Saturday, April 1, 2017
I’ve been going through the material in SVS’ School Planning Kit and it has led me into a process that I did not expect. During many phases of my life thus far, I've experienced moments of revelation about myself and the world around me. Having… Read more ›
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
There is a great deal of talk these days about maintaining, or raising, standards in our schools. The prevailing notion seems to be that children tend to be slackers, and that the only way to ensure that our culture survives without degradation of… Read more ›
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
The following is a speech (very slightly edited) delivered on June 29, 1993, to a public meeting sponsored by a group founding a school, Timpanogos Village, in Provo, Utah. I’ve come here this evening to talk about the Sudbury Valley School. The… Read more ›
Sunday, January 1, 2017
In general, play has gotten a bad press in Western society. It is considered to be the activity that is least useful economically, socially, even ethically. It is associated with laziness and shiftlessness. It is the antonym of “work”. At best, it… Read more ›
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Having personally experienced both public schools and Sudbury Valley, I would like to express a few of the reasons why I think that Sudbury was the right choice for me, and why I think that the public schools are harming today’s youth. I would start… Read more ›
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
This is an edited transcript of a talk given at Koonan University, near Kobe, Japan, to the psychology class of Professor Hage Daishin on April 29, 1999. It was delivered in English and translated consecutively into Japanese. I would like to begin… Read more ›
Saturday, October 1, 2016
It’s another snow day. I’m shoveling our sidewalk, while my husband is working on a talk about visual presentations of work, and I’m thinking about what he’s doing, what I’m doing, about what “work” is, and about Sudbury Valley. If you’d look at my… Read more ›
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Note: “In Appreciation of Liberty” was posted on the SVS blog (www.sudval.org) on June 9, 2014. It elicited several fascinating comments which, we felt, enriched the conversation, so we thought you might enjoy reading it as a “package”. With all the… Read more ›
Monday, August 1, 2016
When visitors arrive at the Sudbury Valley School for the first time, they usually get the impression that they’ve come during “recess.” Everywhere children are playing and happily enjoying themselves in various ways. If they stay a while, they… Read more ›
Friday, July 1, 2016
Every one of us here this evening has something in common. We have all come here because we are thinking about a subject which is very much in the public eye and is very much a subject of controversy right now. In this country, at this moment, there… Read more ›
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Some issues that have been crying for attention This essay started with some thoughts I had about the concept of decentralization in the modern world. I was focussing on this because I had a feeling that decentralization is a key idea closely… Read more ›
Sunday, May 1, 2016
There is a question which I dread and which I am invariably always asked. It is: “If you say that the children at SVS are supposed to be in charge of their lives at the school and do and learn what they want when and how they want, what then is that… Read more ›