This speech was the keynote address at the 2000 International Conference, “Learning in the 21st Century”. It gives an excellent general introduction to the philosophy and practice that define Sudbury Valley School. It places the Sudbury model in its historical context, and presents the argument for a completely new approach to educating children.
“21st century schools, if they are going to prepare children to become effective adults, have to provide an environment in which children are allowed free rein to play and free rein to converse, in a democratic setting where each and every one of them is a fully empowered participant in the community. Only schools like that are compatible with the 21st century model of reality. People who come out of schools like that will be adaptable to change, will know how to communicate, and will feel self confident and empowered.”