Re: DSM: Sudbury Schools - Summerhill


Freekids@aol.com
Sun, 24 Oct 1999 14:24:25 EDT


Hi Martin,

This is Stuart Williams-Ley from Cedarwood Sudbury School. Here are the most
important similaritities and differences between Summerhill and Sudbury
Valley:

Key Similarities

Both allow students a considerable amount of freedom concerning their
activities.

Both have a School Meeting, a democratic decision-maiking body that includes
students and staff members.

Key Differences

Summerhill is a boarding school, whereas Sudbury Valley is not. This affects
students' experiences in various ways.

Sudbury Valley is more completely democratic, having complete control over
every aspect of the school including staff hiring. The Neills (first A.S.
Neill and subsequently his daughter Zoe) retain ultimate control over various
aspects of school life. A.S. Neill decided whether to refer cases involving
broken rules to School Meeting or to deal with them himself, and he also
controlled hiring. I do not know what powers his daughter Zoe has retained,
except that I understand she still controls hiring.

As Summerhill there is an expectation that students will ultimately engage in
traditional academic studies. At Sudbury Valley School there is no such
expectation, and the majority of students do not take any classes.

Does this sound right to people?

Stuart Williams-Ley
Cedarwood Sudbury School



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