Re: DSM: attracting relatively free kids to a Sudbury school

david greenberg (
Tue, 27 Mar 2001 07:15:05 -0400

on 3/26/01 2:20 AM, Ben Robins at wrote:

> Hi folks,
> As kids gain more freedom, I wonder if Sudbury schools will gain or lose
> popularity. One question I have is this:
> Will many kids with non-coercive parents be attracted to Sudbury schools?
> Here's my take:
> Sudbury schools offer many things, including...
> 1) an equal say in controlling the space
> 2) a day-to-day community of unintrusive, non-judgemental people (meaning
> people who have no desire to judge how you should spend your time, beyond
> not bothering others)
> 3) many resources, including staff and other students with self-initiative
> and self-regulation
> Kids in non-coercive families have 1) as much as Sudbury kids do.
> Same with 2), although the community is likely to be smaller (namely the
> family, and maybe some friends, and you'd have to see non-coercive parents
> in action to decide if they truly are non-judgemental).
> As for 3), kids in non-coercive families have many resources available in
> their home and in their home town. Plus with no school attendance
> requirement and no fixed tuition costs, they have more flexibility for using
> those resources. This is the reason given to me by non-coercive parents as
> to why they didn't think their kids would choose a Sudbury school.
> My conclusion is that to attract kids with non-coercive parents (and more
> generally, kids with a relatively large amount of freedom), Sudbury schools
> would have to gain resources by growing larger.
> This conclusion is testable. For example, has a Sudbury school that has
> grown significantly (say from 60 students to 210 students) noticed a more
> positive response from relatively free kids?
> Since all Sudbury schools are trying to grow larger anyway (as far as I
> know), this issue I've brought up has little importance for today. However,
> as child freedom increases, it's nice to understand the forces that will
> effect Sudbury schools.
> Ben
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as a "non-coercive"parent I have let my children visit SVS schools and they
are as likely to return willingly to me at the end of the day as they would
be to return willingly to a communist country.
so, have no fear. having a choice kids will chose to be with kids and
sudbury schools will thrive.

stephanie greenberg

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