- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: Sudbury Valley School Pr (June 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1888947004
- ISBN-13: 978-1888947007
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews
Any serious educator who has the common sense of a slug (and that's about one percent, by the way) will tell you that the educational system as we know it is merely an indoctrination into the values of the ruling class. Much of the work that is forced on teachers is mind-numbing bookkeeping and measuring designed to further the careers of educators (and satisfy administrators) more than anyone else. What is refreshing about Sudbury is that they do away with all that and get down to the business of educating students.
Meaningful learning comes from the individual, and that's what the Sudbury model is all about. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
We home schooled are son, and would have relished a Sudbury school had there been one in our area. This is a school that came about in 1968 in Framingham Massachusetts. Open to children ages 4-19. As the books notes "The school starts from a premise stated by Aristotle over 2000 years ago in his famous opening to the _Metaphysics_:Human beings are naturally curious".
The books explains how children at the school learn all the normal subjects and much more, but at their own pace. And they do learn. And I personally believe that the country needs more educational choices, including Sudbury and home schooling! Subjects covered are: Classes, Math, Fishing, Chemistry, Cooking, Play, how older and younger children teach others, The Honour System, Sports, how they deal with "troublemakers".
I am a big supporter of the idea of at least reading about choices other people are making and recommend this book to thinking people.
"There can be no freedom without learning and learning without freedom is always in vain"-JFK
After several years of reading and discussing, and of helping to set up a Sudbury school, I've come to see the Sudbury model as sort of a passive place by design, in that, to the individual member of the community, the environment and its inhabitants are "just there". Nothing and no one tells you what you should do with your time, or with whom you should do it. So in that sense your time there can become a kind of mirror image of your personality and your own view of things. I guess that's another way of saying that you get out of a Sudbury "school" what you put into it. Like life. I think the source of many negative reactions about Sudbury is that no one would be comfortable having to face the possibility that left to their own devices they wouldn't know what to do with themselves.
Having said that, and in the same sense, I also think the individual Sudbury schools can tend to take on the personality of certain of its members (staff and/or students). Like our own communities often do. The School Meeting and other democratic institutions that are part of the Sudbury model are supposed to be the hedge against democracy turning into mob rule. But as we know it doesn't always work as we'd all like it to. If it happens that the "personality" of a particular Sudbury school doesn't suit a particular member, he/she has 3 constructive options: (1) try to effect change through the democratic processes provided; (2) work within the system as best as you can; (3) find another environment that suits your needs better. Contrast this with traditional school, where for the most part only option 2 is available. At Sudbury it's up to you to make your time there meaningful. Like life.
The central message of this book is: Trust Your Kid. You will have to eventually, so why not start now, while they still live with you.
Many additional books are available through the school's website at sudval.org. There, one can subscribe to an active discussion list regarding this philosophy. Info about similar schools and startup groups is available at the SERN website, sudburynetwork.org.
This book is as good a place as any to begin the process of re-thinking what you assume education is.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book that expands the conversation about education beyond the narrow curriculum debate. The books is based on two immutable truths: 1) Force is not an effective teacher;... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Brenda G.
Every experience that Daniel Greenberg shares in this book has practical utility. A must read for every person genuinely interested in learning and education.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book really changed the way I look at education. I grew up with the pressures of homework, projects, and making sure I excelled in every from science to phys. ed. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Edwin Soto
This book is one of the most amazing books I've ever read, and it completely changed the way we homeschool our son! Read morePublished on April 8, 2007 by Heather Williams
My main objection to this book is that it is full of lies. The sudbury philosophy sounds great, but having enrolled in one, I have discovered that the dream of children having... Read morePublished on April 15, 2004
If you believe that kids need to be controlled, guided, and "exposed to new ideas," you won't like this book. Read morePublished on July 9, 2001 by Walter F. Thiessen Jr.
As a former teacher frustrated with the mediocrity andlimitations of traditional public schools, I find this book to beexciting and refreshing, offering hope that at least someone... Read morePublished on January 9, 2001 by T. Jones