Essays

Thursday, July 1, 2010
Note: This is an edited version of a talk presented to the 2002 Workshop for Staff of Sudbury Schools and for Startup Groups about to open new Sudbury Schools, held at Sudbury Valley School in July 2002. I For a long time I've held that as soon as… Read more ›
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
During a School Meeting debate in the late spring of the year 2000, someone made an oft-repeated point: "If the people involved in this activity really cared, they would be here and promote their cause." It is a refrain that I have heard often from… Read more ›
Saturday, May 1, 2010
A young girl of nine or ten asked me to teach her math. I gave her some problems which she enjoyed doing. Next day she came to me with many sheets of paper covered with similar problems which she made for herself and then solved. She is obviously… Read more ›
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Note: This was the second part of a session delivered by Dan Greenberg and Mimsy Sadofsky at the Spring 2000 meeting of the Massachusetts School Counselors Association. The first part placed the idea of college in today's world in an economic and… Read more ›
Monday, March 1, 2010
Shortly after the oral thesis defenses were completed one of the students who participated in this new procedure suggested to me that I should sit together with all the students and talk about their experiences. They agreed to have the conversation… Read more ›
Monday, February 1, 2010
Note: This essay is based on a talk given at Framingham State College in November 2007. I When people write about schools, they usually talk about curriculum, program, management, pedagogy, and other such matters. I’m not going to do that at all.… Read more ›
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Note: This essay is an edited version of the transcript of a talk given at the school on November 19, 2008. It is a question that people ask all the time. We hear it at Open Houses, we hear it when we meet people outside, we hear it at interviews,… Read more ›
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does. ~Margaret Mead I For me, the promise was this: that the ideal expressed in our Declaration of Independence—“all men are created… Read more ›
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The indispensable ingredients for establishing and maintaining a Sudbury school as a viable entity1 I. The Core Group The seeds for having a sustainable school are planted at the very beginning. How you start, how you set the place up, are largely… Read more ›
Saturday, August 1, 2009
An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted. ~Arthur Miller I Undergirding any educational program is a set of assumptions that are often believed to be so self-evident that they do not need to be stated. But are they so self-… Read more ›
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
When I dropped out of high school at age 16, I had no idea that Sudbury Valley existed. I just wasn’t going to do what THEY told me to do if I didn’t see a good reason for it. Life is too short to sit in a stuffy classroom taking multiple choice… Read more ›
Monday, June 1, 2009
The Question For as long as I can remember, Sudbury Valley School has stated that its reason for existence, in a nutshell, is to provide an environment, suitable for our place and time, in which children can take responsibility for preparing… Read more ›
Friday, May 1, 2009
Note: This is an edited version of a talk delivered at Fairfield School in Wolfeville, Nova Scotia. Over the years, many studies have been done of the graduates of Sudbury Valley School to see whether an environment that is beautiful for childhood… Read more ›
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Musings on the School's 40th Anniversary 1 Forty years ago, in February of 1968, the papers of incorporation of The Sudbury Valley School, Inc., were signed, and we came into being as an official institution. That's a very exciting memory, and this… Read more ›
Sunday, March 1, 2009
It occurred to me that the people best able to answer the concerns that parents and others have about the SVS mode of education are the students who experience it themselves. So, one day I sat down with seven teenagers and a tape recorder and I… Read more ›
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I believe that in the long run, history will decide that the major legacy of the twentieth century has been the extension of the concept of individual rights and personal liberty to all adults, everywhere. One hundred years ago, these concepts were… Read more ›
Thursday, January 1, 2009
All the high-sounding rhetoric about educational reform makes most people think that something really good is in the air. Educators, political leaders, academics, and the intellectual community in general all seem to be four-square behind a movement… Read more ›
Monday, December 1, 2008
Note: This is a talk that was delivered at Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, in May of 2000. I would like to start in the middle. Before I talk about the basic features of a Sudbury school, I would like to talk about two central… Read more ›