Free at Last


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Starting a Sudbury School


Book Description

The Sudbury Valley School in Framingham, Massachusetts, is a nontraditional private school founded in 1968, based on the idea that a child is a person worthy of full respect as a human being. It aimed to create a nurturing environment in which the children themselves choose what they wish to do and schedule their time. This book is a guide summarizing the various steps necessary to found a Sudbury school, based on interviews and information gathered from 14 schools and groups throughout the United States. The first four chapters cover what kind of folks are founders, what makes them interested, how founder groups get formed, and characteristics important within the founders' group. The chapter on concrete steps to be taken includes understanding the philosophy, formalization of status, satisfying the appropriate educational authorities, money matters, site selection, and promotion. The next seven chapters address demographics, staffing a Sudbury school, where students come from, the nitty-gritty of staffing a school, developing a culture and keeping the school going, classic errors, and factors enabling success. Appendix 1 is a note from a founder who failed. Appendix 2 is a narrative history of a school that survived its first 4 years. Appendix 3 is another narrative of a school that is still going after 5 years. Appendix 4, entitled "Revolution or Reform?" presents thoughts on the character, strategy, and destiny of the original Sudbury Valley School. (TD)




When Kids Rule the School


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How self-directed democratic schooling builds fulfilling lives and can lead the way back to a civilized society Education is ripe for democratic disruption. Students in most schools are denied fundamental social ideals such as personal freedom, public government, rule of law, and free enterprise. In our increasingly authoritarian post-truth world, self-directed democratic schooling offers a timely alternative: educating children in civilized society and showing that self-motivation outperforms coercion in its power to educate and fulfill. When Kids Rule the School is the first comprehensive guide to democratic schooling, where kids practice life in a self-governed society—empowered as voters, bound by laws, challenged by choice, supported by community, and driven by nature. Through heartwarming stories and hard-headed details, this book covers: Democratic schooling philosophy, theory, and practice School governance by students and staff together Student self-direction and day-to-day life Deep play, cognitive development, and critical thinking Why democratic schooling is morally right and effective Model bylaws and guidance for starting a democratic school. Created for educators, parents, and scholars, When Kids Rule the School will immerse you, heart and mind, in a promising new approach to education, and stretch your thinking about what school can be.




The Kingdom of Childhood


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Free at Last


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Turning Learning Right Side Up


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In the age of the Internet, we educate people much as we did during the Industrial Revolution. We educate them for a world that no longer exists, instilling values antithetical to those of a free, 21st century democracy. Worst of all, too many schools extinguish the very creativity and joy they ought to nourish. In Turning Learning Right Side Up, legendary systems scientist Dr. Russell Ackoff and “in-the-trenches” education innovator Daniel Greenberg offer a radically new path forward. In the year’s most provocative conversation, they take on the very deepest questions about education: What should be its true purpose? Do classrooms make sense anymore? What should individuals contribute to their own education? Are yesterday’s distinctions between subjects--and between the arts and sciences--still meaningful? What would the ideal lifelong education look like--at K-12, in universities, in the workplace, and beyond? Ackoff and Greenberg each have experience making radical change work--successfully. Here, they combine deep idealism with a relentless focus on the real world--and arrive at solutions that are profoundly sensible and powerfully compelling. Why today’s educational system fails--and why superficial reforms won’t help The questions politicians won’t ask--and the answers they don’t want to hear How do people learn--and why do they choose to learn? Creating schools that reflect what we know about learning In a 21st century democracy, what values must we nurture? ...and why aren’t we nurturing them? How can tomorrow’s “ideal schools” be operated and funded? A plan that cuts through political gridlock and can actually work Beyond schools: building a society of passionate lifelong learners Learning from childhood to college to workplace through retirement Reinventing Learning for the Next Century: How We Can, and Why We Must An extraordinary conversation about the very deepest questions... Today, what is education for? Where should it take place? How? When? What is the ideal school? The ideal lifelong learning experience? Who should be in charge of education? And who pays for it all? Over the past 150 years, virtually everything has changed...except education. Schools were designed as factories, to train factory workers. The factories are gone, but the schools haven’t changed. It’s time for us to return to first principles...or formulate new first principles...and reimagine education from the ground up. In Turning Learning Right Side Up, two of this generation’s most provocative thinkers--and practical doers--have done just that. They draw on the latest scientific research, the most enduring human wisdom, and their unique lifelong personal experiences transforming institutions that resist change. And, along the way, they offer a powerful blueprint for a thriving society of passionate lifelong learners.




Legacy of Trust


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Free to Learn


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A leading expert in childhood development makes the case for why self-directed learning -- "unschooling" -- is the best way to get kids to learn. In Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray argues that in order to foster children who will thrive in today's constantly changing world, we must entrust them to steer their own learning and development. Drawing on evidence from anthropology, psychology, and history, he demonstrates that free play is the primary means by which children learn to control their lives, solve problems, get along with peers, and become emotionally resilient. A brave, counterintuitive proposal for freeing our children from the shackles of the curiosity-killing institution we call school, Free to Learn suggests that it's time to stop asking what's wrong with our children, and start asking what's wrong with the system. It shows how we can act—both as parents and as members of society—to improve children's lives and to promote their happiness and learning.




Education in America


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Why Don't Students Like School?


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Easy-to-apply, scientifically-based approaches for engaging students in the classroom Cognitive scientist Dan Willingham focuses his acclaimed research on the biological and cognitive basis of learning. His book will help teachers improve their practice by explaining how they and their students think and learn. It reveals-the importance of story, emotion, memory, context, and routine in building knowledge and creating lasting learning experiences. Nine, easy-to-understand principles with clear applications for the classroom Includes surprising findings, such as that intelligence is malleable, and that you cannot develop "thinking skills" without facts How an understanding of the brain's workings can help teachers hone their teaching skills "Mr. Willingham's answers apply just as well outside the classroom. Corporate trainers, marketers and, not least, parents -anyone who cares about how we learn-should find his book valuable reading." —Wall Street Journal