Raising Free People

What we've been reading, watching, and thinking about at Alpine Valley School this week.


Alpine Valley School will be hosting an informal meet and greet on August 24th! Come and learn more about self-directed democratic education in the Denver area by touring our facility, meeting our staff members, and chatting with graduates of our program. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot if you plan to attend! Both current families and newcomers are welcome!

Alpine Valley School will be hosting an informal meet and greet on August 24th! Come and learn more about self-directed democratic education in the Denver area by touring our facility, meeting our staff members, and chatting with graduates of our program. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot if you plan to attend! Both current families and newcomers are welcome!


We can't keep using tools of oppression and expect to raise free people - we must examine privilege and power in our relationships with our children, the world's most vulnerable citizens and embrace chaos in efforts to allow trust-based practices to emerge.

This powerful video "Raising Free People" comes to us from a TED talk given by one of the founders of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education (and co-founder of a Sudbury School). Her passion for raising children free of coercion is infectious - we loved watching this video this week.


Another resource we loved this week was an article by the same Alliance for Self-Directed education entitled: “What If They Just…” This article answers the question we get all the time about how students may choose to spend their time (e.g. “what if they just play video games). We’ve answered this question before in our own way, but it’s nice to have the perspective of a whole group of educators adding to the trustful chorus as well. Here's the opening line from this article to get you started: "Maybe it isn’t that school is so structured because kids are incapable, but that kids seem incapable because we only see what they are doing in schools that are so structured."


The writings of John Holt have always been a source of inspiration for us, so we were inspired to share this particular quote on our Instagram page this week. We know that children are going to grow up to be who they are going to be, and we need to let them. That doesn't mean there shouldn't be rules (there definitely are) but that we shouldn't try to "mold" them and instead allow them to unfold in a way that is natural for them, while living in a community that supports each individual and takes care of everyone.


What sorts of careers do the students of self-directed democratic education have? How do they stand out in a competitive job market without grades or transcripts? These are the questions we tackle on episode 37 of the Alpine Valley School podcast. With the help of a panel of Alpine Valley School graduates, host Marc Gallivan explores the career options available to Sudbury school students as well as the outstanding contributions our graduates make once they enter the workforce.

What sorts of careers do the students of self-directed democratic education have? How do they stand out in a competitive job market without grades or transcripts? These are the questions we tackle on episode 37 of the Alpine Valley School podcast. With the help of a panel of Alpine Valley School graduates, host Marc Gallivan explores the career options available to Sudbury school students as well as the outstanding contributions our graduates make once they enter the workforce.


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Marc GallivanComment