Education reform

Where did you say that was?

Author: 
Daniel Greenberg
Recently, an article was brought to my attention, entitled “Alternative Educational System Sudbury Valley as a Model for Reforming School”. It was a paper presented to the 4th World Conference on Educational Technology Researches, held in Barcelona, Spain in November, … Continue reading

To Strew Or Not To Strew?

Author: 
Hanna Greenberg
  Strewing is one of the latest techniques used by educators and parents to lure children to learn things that the adults want them to learn at a time of the adult’s choosing. It has become especially popular among “unschooling” … Continue reading

How DO They Learn?

Author: 
Mimsy Sadofsky
It is the first question parents ask once they try to wrap their minds around the fact that students at Sudbury Valley are, in fact, free to use their time in the ways that appeal to them. And even after … Continue reading

Sudbury and the FEAR OF FALLING BEHIND

Author: 
Associated School: 

Not long ago a parent told me that her son had “never been happier” since he enrolled earlier this spring.  And indeed, that very morning I had seen him running across the back hill with his arms outstretched and his head thrown back; it was like a scene from Free Willy.  His parent told me that, while his former school had stretched itself to make things work for him, he remained miserable there.  His needs, for space and time and companionship, were not being met.  I hear it a lot: it was like trying to fit the old round peg into the unforgiving square hole, but here, at last, there was no hole to conform to.  Out the window at this moment I can see three little bands of kids wandering the grounds, gesticulating excitedly, creating worlds beyond my kin.  One of them has green hair and no shirt.  One of them is carrying a bag by a strap around his forehead.  And one of them is being led by another...on a leash.  It’s so easy to forget that homo sapiens have developed a complex set of needs - and the skills to meet them - over 200,000 years of evolution, and they are embedded in us like algorithms that find expression one way or another.  We need to explore our identities and forge them in the context of intense social interaction in order to be successful, healthy, and happy.  Welcome to our “school.”

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What are They Doing?

Author: 
Associated School: 

Well it’s the first warm day of March, and most people here are outside, climbing trees and rolling in the mud, building sandcastles and playing street hockey.  I just played a game a student created called, “Sharktooth.”  I lost.  I was also, for a time, the overburdened father of two very demanding young girls, busily making dinners to order (why do I let them get away with that?!)  while attempting to regulate their screen-time (the “screen” was a slab of bluestone) and mediate their conflicts (you’d have to be a saint to do this well, I assured myself). I had to quit that game after less than an hour.  People sometimes complain about “kids these days” preferring the virtual world to the outdoors, but I don’t think it’s true; when all the obstacles - obstacles that adults have created -  are removed,  they go outside.  A lot, and really in all weather, not only when it’s nice.  But the spirit today is more celebratory than usual.

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Floundering in Contradictions

Author: 
Daniel Greenberg
I have been extremely puzzled for some time that our society seems to be eagerly pursuing mutually inconsistent goals, almost as if we are unaware that in so doing, we are trying to go in opposite directions at the same … Continue reading

Math

Associated School: 

Shelley and Otelia doing math.I’ve worked at Sudbury for five years now and this fifth year is my nerdy dream-come-true. As a Sudbury staff member, we follow the students’ lead and engage in the activities they choose to pursue. Sometimes our personal passions are shared by students and we can engage in those activities together, and other times we might be waiting around for a long long while for something we love to catch on. Well, I love evaluating algebraic expressions, playing with geometric shapes, and puzzling out information about movement and time, and lucky for me this year I get to teach about these concepts every day of the week!

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The virtues of failure

Author: 
Daniel Greenberg
If I had to choose one topic to place at the very core of every child’s educational experience, I would have no trouble identifying it: how to deal with failure. Yet, this is the subject most assiduously ignored in traditional … Continue reading

To What Will They Return?

Author: 
Associated School: 

The best thing about working “in education” is, undoubtedly, the summer. Oh wait, I mean the kids - the best thing is the kids. Wellllll, no - sorry! - it’s the summer, as much as I do love the kids (at least when I’m not responsible for the choices they make, the lessons they learn, the things they say, and the thoughts they think!) For me, having this uninterrupted time to immerse myself in interests and friends old and new, deepen my connection to my home, neighborhood, and region, travel, keep hours regular or irregular, and be with family, is a treasure I guard most jealously; it is a great, fatty, nourishing privilege. For me, just as it is for many children, summer is the Land of Space and Time Enough, which really is the only land fit for human habitation. Each year, I have the space and time to connect with what’s really happening in my inner life; I can let the changes which constantly brew there wash over me. I can, like the flora, exult in a state of robust health and growth. Having significant time in which to direct my own activity makes me feel very, very rich indeed, and in possession of myself, or, to put it slightly differently, free

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Dateline: Hong Kong

Author: 
Mike Sadofsky
Last October, I traveled to Hong Kong to speak about SVS at a Conference dubbed EDiversity. Yes, you get it: diversity in education. I guess that’s one way for frustrated parents to address the high stakes, regimented curriculum, and aggressive … Continue reading

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Hudson Valley Sudbury School

84 Zena Road
Kingston, NY 12401
 
Phone: 845-679-1002
Fax: 845-679-3874