Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] scientific backing of Sudbury

From: Sam Patton <>
Date: Thu Jan 19 10:05:01 2006

Of course you can give scientific backing about the effects of regular
school!!! You can study drop out rates, college graduation rates, careers
entered, teen pregnancy rates, rate of drug use by category, suicide rates,
and a host of other objective statistics. There are a lot of things that
can be relatively easily measured. I'd be very interested to find out if
those numbers are better/worse at a democratic school. I've read "Legacy of
Trust" and very much liked it. However, similar stories can be found about
people who attend any kind of school.

A very interesting study was done on children who lived in a "school choice"
district. Those children whose parents tried to get them into the "good
school" did measurably better, whether or not they actually got in. The
study was described in "Freakonomics" (a very fun book).


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Rovner" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 5:45 AM
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] scientific backing of Sudbury

> Dear Sandra,
> I think you should reformulate your request. Can you give scientific
> backing
> to a "regular" school ?
> I think a good or a bad education and/or schooling are very difficult
> things
> to demonstrate scientifically if at all.
> It is more of a social and philosophical approach. Still there have been
> some attempts to find out the effects on children of Sudbury education.
> For
> instance, "Legacy of Trust: Life After the Sudbury Valley School
> Experience," or "The Pursuit of Happiness: The Lives of Sudbury Valley
> Alumni" -- "what becomes of students who attended Sudbury Valley as they
> pursue their lives as adults? This book explores the lives of former
> students who spent their formative years at the school. It examines in
> depth
> their values, their character, and their careers, drawing extensively on
> their own words. A unique contribution to the literature that evaluates
> schools and educational philosophies."
> See: .
> I would also suggest to take a look at, ,
> for instance.
> Cheers,
> ~ David
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Marc en Sandra" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 12:02 PM
> Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] scientific backing of Sudbury
>> Hi,
>> I'm a member of a new startup group in Brussels (Belgium), we would like
> to
>> create a Sudbury school in our area and are working hard on this. One of
> the
>> things coming up in the process is: have any scientific studies been
>> conducted on the positive effects on children of Sudbury education (I
> mean,
>> in terms of learning success, socialization, development of
> responsibility,
>> values, anything). We as starters feel certain enough about the enormous
>> potential of Sudbury for our kids, but there is of course 'the others':
>> critical outsiders, anxious and doubting parents, and especially local
>> education authorities to whom we will have to go and explain about our
>> project somewhere in the near future. It would be a great help if we
>> could
>> provide some outside evidence that 'Sudbury works' and not only our own
>> conviction.
>> I also see this in a lager sense: in fact I am gathering material from
>> psychologists and other scientists that supports the ideas that are
>> fundamental to Sudbury (e.g. concepts of 'learned helplessness' and
>> 'intrinsic motivation', publications of John Holt etc.).
>> Does anyone have any interesting information about this?
>> Thanks in advance,
>> Sandra Roobaert
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Received on Thu Jan 19 2006 - 10:04:44 EST

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