Articles that First Appeared in a Sudbury Book

These are articles first appeared in a book about the Sudbury Model of education.  Where possible, we have included a link to the book to allow you to purchase it.

Free at Last

Free at Last - Book Cover

Our best-selling description of the school is bursting with the excitement of life at Sudbury Valley. Free at Last is also chock-full of stories that illustrate the many unique features of this highly original model. “Age mixing is Sudbury Valley’s secret weapon. I never could make heads or tails of age segregation. People don’t live their lives in the real world separated by age, year by year. Kids don’t all have the same interests or abilities at a particular age. “Anyway, we soon found out how children mix when they are left to their own devices. They mix. Just like real people. The principle is always the same: if anyone wants to do something, they do it. Interest is what counts. If the activity is on an advanced level, skill counts. A lot of little kids are much more skillful than older ones at a lot of things. “When the skills and rate of learning aren’t all on the same level, that’s when the fun begins. The kids help each other. They have to, otherwise the group as a whole will fall behind. They want to, because they are not competing for grades or gold stars. They like to, because it’s terribly satisfying to help someone else and succeed at it. And it’s terribly pleasing to watch. Everywhere you turn at school, age mixing confronts you.”

Reflections on the Sudbury School Concept (excerpts)

Reflections on the Sudbury School Concept

How do Sudbury Schools work? For over thirty years, founders, staff, students and parents have written about this exhilarating new way of schooling children. Many excellent articles on the concepts and experiences that make up a Sudbury School have been collected in two books, this one and The Sudbury Valley School Experience, which together provide a solid introduction to this model of education.

A Clearer View (excerpts)

A Clearer View - Book Cover

To celebrate the Sudbury Valley School’s 30th anniversary, a series of six talks was presented showing how the people who struggled to implement this new educational model deepened their understanding of topics such as play, conversation, and democracy. The talks were collected in this wonderful book which packs a big punch in a little volume. It is particularly valuable for parents considering Sudbury education for their children.

Kingdom of Childhood Growing Up at Sudbury Valley School

Kingdom of Childhood - Book Cover

What do students say about life at Sudbury Valley? This book is a remarkable series of vivid personal recollections of school, in the words of former students. Drawn from comprehensive, reflective interviews, each account presents a picture of school days from the unique perspective of a student, telling what they did, and how they felt about their Sudbury Valley School experience.

The Crisis in American Education (excerpts)

The Crisis in American Education - Book Cover

This book quickly became a classic and is still enjoyable and relevant. It lays out the foundations of the Sudbury model in clear, easy terms.

Education in America (excerpts)

Education in America - Book Cover

How does the prevailing system of schooling in America measure up to modern day requirements? A collection of essays addresses this question from various angles. They were first published in the most widely read newspaper in the suburban Boston area.

Child Rearing (excerpts)

Child Rearing - Book Cover

“One thread that runs through every point in this book – letting things go their own way, letting children develop their own curiosity freely, letting people make all the mistakes they can on the way to developing their judgment – is that all these things involve an enormous amount of time, and require patience. You have got to have time to work things out. Perhaps the most devastating feature of our society is its preoccupation with speed. In fact, the single most effective tool society has for squelching creativity and independence is rushing everybody to death. How often have I seen people who have almost reached their goals suddenly stop and say, ‘Time is flying by, I have got to move on,’ and then all of their relaxed ability to work things out goes down the drain. It is just plain ludicrous to think that a person has to have ‘made it’ by a certain age. Some people find their life calling at six, others at thirty-six, others much later. Things have just got to be allowed to work themselves out in their own good time.”