Category Archives: stopstealingdreams

Sudbury Valley School — Stop Stealing Dreams

Sudbury Valley School gets a mention in Seth Godin’s eBook “Stop Stealing Dreams” (2012).

Seth, your kids would love SVS!

Here is the excerpt:

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34. Responsibility
The Sudbury Valley School was founded during the hippie generation, and has
survived and thrived as an independent school for forty years. From their
introductory handbook:
“The way we saw it, responsibility means that each person has
to carry the ball for himself. You, and you alone, must make
your decisions, and you must live with them. No one should
be thinking for you, and no one should be protecting you
from the consequences of your actions. This, we felt, is essential
if you want to be independent, self-directed, and the
master of your own destiny.”
While this is easy to dismiss as hype or pabulum, what if it’s true? What if you
actually built a school from the ground up with this as its core idea, not just
window dressing? This is precisely what they did.
Students ask for teachers when they wish. They play soccer if they choose. They
take responsibility for everything they do and learn, from the age of six. And it
works.
If a school is seen as a place for encouragement and truth-telling, a place where
students go to find their passion and then achieve their goals, it is not a school we
would generally recognize, because our schools do none of this.

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Also mentioned at the end is a book co-authored by Daniel Greenberg, a co-founder and current staff member at SVS.

“133.Bibliography and further reading … “Turning Learning Right Side Up” by Russell Ackoff and Daniel Greenberg”

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One comment about the “founded during the hippie generation” lead in above.  I don’t know if it was Seth’s intention to characterize the school as being a “hippie school” because, really, as a parent of a student who has been there 4 years, my comment is that the student population is incredibly diverse.  There is no one type of student or family who sees the appeal of the Sudbury Valley School or any of the few dozen Sudbury Model schools world-wide.  It’s a huge mix.  The school was founded in 1968 and has been going strong for over 40 years.

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