A Fortieth Anniversary Lecture
“Forty years of amazing students have passed through our campus, but parents still worry while their children are here, students still struggle with the difficulty of the school, and the public still hangs onto models of education that have fallen into disrepair. Why?
“To me these questions have a special poignancy, because when I walk across the campus during the day, I always have same exciting experience. I see energetic groups of intense, focused, active, happy kids playing outside, and then, after entering the building, I see the same kind of intensity, busyness and interrelating, so rarely found in any social group.
“I don’t know of any other place where that level of intensity, focus, interesting conversation, excited activity and happiness in children occurs. It’s quite striking. It’s not something you see anywhere else. We hear this over and over again. We hear it from visitors. We hear it from contractors. We hear it from a host of strangers who say, ‘We’ve never seen children look adults straight in the eye, treating them as regular people, and show no fear.’
“What we’re really talking about is the problem of change, and resistance to change. We have a model of education that is clearly different from the traditional model, and certainly different from the model that virtually all adults grew up with. Radically different. I’d like to examine that from various perspectives.”