Sudbury Education

Sudbury Education, as I understand it, is a model of education built on the following premises:

a. Education is a life-long process of human development;

b. Human development takes place through learning;

c. Since it is through learning that we become what we choose to be, learning should be radically free and self-determined, that is: self-initiated, self-conducted, self-accomplished and self-assessed;

d. Especially during infancy and adolescence, humans need a safe environment that guarantees and protects their freedom to learn, which is part of their right to self-determination;

e. A Sudbury School aims to be such an environment, and in coherence with the former premises, it has no curriculum, and, therefore, no content to deliver or transmit; their staff do not teach the students anything and, therefore, are not called teachers; the activities in which their students are involved are freely chosen by them and are not done in classes; there is no evaluation of learning through tests and examinations, and, therefore, no adherence to standards and the like; the management of the school is in the hands of the school community, students and staff, and takes place through a general school meeting; an elected judicial committee guarantees that the norms approved by the school meeting are observed.

[This is my understanding of Sudbury Education, here presented to further academic discussion and better comprehension of the concept, and does not necessarily represent the views of any individual Sudbury School, including the first Sudbury School, the Sudbury Valley School, founded by Daniel Greenberg and associates in 1968 in Framingham, MA, USA, each subsequent school being free to use the name “Sudbury” and to adapt these principles to local circumstances by the liberality and generosity of those who first conceived them, to whom I here express my gratitude. The original Sudbury Valley School has a page on Facebook in the following address: I recommend that the readers visit it as well as the site for the official understanding of Sudbury Education.]

São Paulo, on the 27th of October of 2018

Eduardo Chaves


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