Just got to wondering about how many hours one spends in PreK-12th grade. Well, if you assume 5 hours (it’s supposed to be 5.5 in upper grades in MA law) and 180 days/year and 14 years, well then… that’s:
180*14*5 = 12,600 hours
FWIW, this compares to the “10,000 hours” from Malcolm Gladwell’s book: Outliers: The Story of Success
I believe his thesis is… some baseline of talent + 10,000 hours to pursue something = Success
One can read pretty much endless Sudbury Valley School alumni (and older students) who say that looking back… the time they had to pursue their passions at school was pretty darn important to them.
On the other hand, there are not really any easy generalizations to be made about how kids choose to use their time at Sudbury Valley School. Take two passionate musicians for instance. I think it’s equally likely that they spend all their time at SVS (or any sudbury school) “doing music”. Or none of their time. Or something in between. That’s the beauty of the school. There are 24 hours in a day, so that’s plenty of time to use the school as a resource and community in a way that works for you. At times it might be a place of study, play, conversation, etc. Intense. Or not.
A better example than music might be dance. Or hockey. If you are intensely involved in an activity like this, then obviously you are going to spend significant time outside of school pursuing these activities and SVS is going to be something else for you.
I guess what I am saying is that SVS can be equally valuable for what it is NOT (For instance, not infringing on your time outside of school as well — with homework you have not chosen to pursue yourself.)
– The discussion of three levels of learning… “curious probing” vs “entertainment style” vs “unstoppable mastery learning” from “Do People Learn from Courses?” in: The Sudbury Valley School Experience, pages 90-99