Sowmya Rajendran
FREE AT LAST: THE SUDBURY VALLEY SCHOOL by Daniel Greenberg Banyan Tree, 2013, 173 pp., 300
November 2013, volume 37, No 11

Is this a fantasy novel? Or a dream come true from one’s childhood? You know, the one in which we wished school would have no exams and annoying things like report cards would simply disappear? The Sudbury Valley School, set up by American physicist Daniel Greenberg and other like-minded parents in 1968, is one such school—there is no curriculum, no exams, no grades, no classes, no uniforms, no competition, no bell! The school works on democratic principles and every student, the oldest to the youngest, has a vote. Some children go to school and fish in the pond all day; some curl up and read a book; some climb a tree; some bring up goats; some work out problems; some take photographs…nobody asks them why they are doing what they are doing. There is no time limit to their activity. No adult interferes and offers help unless asked. Sounds like fun?

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