Lessons in Learning - Sudbury

Unique feature: The students have complete control over how to evaluate themselves.

Origin: Sudbury schools take their name from the Sudbury Valley School, which was founded in 1968 in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Sudbury schools concentrate on the child’s individuality and democracy, where students have complete control over what and how they learn, and how they are evaluated. In weekly meetings, students vote on everything, from rules and budget to whether the staff should be replaced/rehired. Every student and staff member has the right to vote, and each vote is given equal weight.

The Sudbury philosophy is that students are capable of assuming a certain level of responsibility and can make sound decisions for themselves. This gives them a chance to grow into their unique selves and be accountable for their actions, which helps them to fit in just fine and work in a community with an unshackled mind. While most schools look for new ways to motivate students, Sudbury schools don’t bother. In this approach, students are inherently motivated to learn. The heavyweight value of this model is rooted in equal opportunity, individual rights, and political democracy.