The View from Inside

Sudbury Valley School from the Perspective of . . .

Michael Greenberg
110 pages

“For the first time since I was a kid I am wondering if the description of freedom and democracy should come first, as the basis of a new person’s exposure to the school, or should it be later on as the mechanics of how your kid will be put through an experience that will make them a powerful person. Maybe it is the powerful person that your kid will become that should be emphasized.

“They will learn to think for themselves. To do intense analytical thinking. To deal with multiple viewpoints in subjective situations where there is no ‘truth.’ Along the way they will pick up reading, writing, basic math, an ability to make clear, logical arguments in matters of deep ethical complexity. They will learn how to find the information they need through multiple sources (internet, books, trial and error, talking to people who are in the field). They will learn how to set priorities and allocate resources. They will learn how to be useful to others and how to be responsible participants in a complex society. They will learn how to create, enforce and obey the rule of law in an environment with no tolerance for violence, theft or vandalism. At graduation, they will be adult in ways that most traditionally schooled students can never hope to be, as a reading of our graduation thesis defenses will immediately confirm.

“They will possess the set of powerful character traits that the Sudbury system imbues in those who have spent sufficient time in the program. Above all, they will live an examined life that is fulfilling, meaningful and fun.”