I’ve been reading through some past articles on Sudbury education. A new year is a good time to think about new ways of doing things, and so I’d like to refer you to an essay by Daniel Greenberg, a found of the original Sudbury Valley School and a long-time staff member there. It’s called “Sudbury Valley School: The Birth of a New Paradigm for Education” and it’s on the Sudbury Valley School website. It outlines some of the ideas behind Sudbury education and talks about how the school’s founders decided to do things they way they do there.
Here is my favourite quotation from this essay: “I want to end with the essence of what the school is about: that a child is no different than an adult in the respect that is due to them from the rest of us. And the easiest way to get into this paradigm, the easiest way to break out of all of these other preconceptions, is to keep reminding yourself of that simple fact. Every time you interact with a child, stop yourself for a second – you can train yourself to do this – and ask, ‘Would I behave this way to an adult?’ Would you walk up to an adult and say, ‘Haven’t you been sitting a little too long staring at the roof? Wouldn’t you like to read a book that I have for you?’”