Updated 2017-10-12

Democratic schooling: What happens to young people who have charge of their own education?

A follow-up study of the graduates of the Sudbury Valley School, a democratically administered primary and secondary school that supports Self-Directed Education.
Peter Gray & David Chanoff authors
Gray, P. & Chanoff, D. (1986). Democratic schooling: What happens to young people who have charge of their own education? American Journal of Education, 94(2), 182-213.

Description

A follow-up study was conducted of the graduates of the Sudbury Valley School (SVS), a democratically administered primary and secondary school that has no learning requirements but rather supports students’ self-directed activities. Although these individuals educated themselves in ways that are enormously different from what occurs at traditional schools, they have had no apparent difficulty being admitted to or adjusting to the demands of traditional higher education and have been successful in a wide variety of careers. Graduates reported that for higher education and careers, the school benefited them by allowing them to develop their own interests and by fostering such traits as personal responsibility, initiative, curiosity, ability to communicate well with people regardless of status, and continued appreciation and practice of democratic values.