Essays

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 ›
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I Democracy has always been a central concept for Sudbury Valley School. In fact, one can properly say that liberal democracy defines the school: a place where all stakeholders have an equal say in governing the community, where all have equal… Read more ›
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
This is an edited transcript of a talk delivered at the April 2000 International Conference on Learning in the 21st Century, sponsored by Arthur Andersen. What I'm going to do here is go back to first principles, and ask a few questions that I think… Read more ›
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Some Autobiographical Reflections1 I have zealously guarded my failing report cards from the 10th grade, which was to be my last year of secondary education in a traditional school. And I'll admit, I have a bit of pride in them still. One of them… Read more ›
Sunday, June 1, 2008
I think the United States at the dawn of a new millennium has got itself into a very big pickle in the matter of education. To explain this pickle I'm going to set out two definitions and then tell two stories. The word to be defined is student. The… Read more ›
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
The most fundamental educational lesson we hope our students will learn is that they are responsible for their own education, and in fact for their own lives. Actually internalizing this, and all that goes with it is the best lesson they can have… Read more ›
Saturday, March 1, 2008
This paper is based on a talk delivered in October 2002 to a graduate course in the Education Department of Framingham State College. Sudbury Valley School is, as we know, based on principles that are radically different from those underlying… Read more ›
Friday, February 1, 2008
From the transcript of an interview of Michael Greenberg conducted by Rhonda Goebel as part of a work entitled, Research on Manifestations of Critical Thinking in Children's Spontaneous Talk. The transcript has been only lightly edited, so as to… Read more ›
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Every word in education is connected to some preconceived idea in people's minds. This means that every time we write or talk about Sudbury Valley School, we have to try to break these connections, and this is a very difficult task. The main problem… Read more ›
Saturday, December 1, 2007
I enjoyed listening to the discussion at the Assembly evening last November in which a student panel provided information about School Corporations, the Judicial Committee, and how the School Meeting operates, among other subjects. What I enjoy the… Read more ›
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I. "There are three activities everybody does regardless of culture: make music, decorate things, and talk. Talking, making music, and decorating things are the three things that seem to be basically hardwired into the brains of everybody, that seem… Read more ›
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Children Are People1 The Setting My first memory of people being aware that there's some kind of a problem with education in this country dates back to 1956, when the Russians sent up the first earth-orbiting satellite. That event was really seminal… Read more ›
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Note: Based on talks given at Framingham State College and in Halifax, Nova Scotia, during the 2001-2002 school year. I. The Setting I would like to begin by placing the whole question of schooling and education in a broader historical and cultural… Read more ›
Friday, June 1, 2007
Note: Talks delivered in Shimonoseki, Japan, on April 19, 1999 by Dan and Hanna Greenberg, as part of their Japanese tour. These talks were followed by a brief slide presentation of pictures of life at school, with commentary by Dan, and then by a… Read more ›