Updated 2020-02-13

Living and Learning in the Free School

This book is an ethnographic study of one of Canada’s publicly funded, Self-Directed learning environments in the 1970’s.
Mark W. Novak author
Non-Fiction Books


Novak chronicles the formation and establishment of a Self-Directed school within one of Canada’s public school systems. The parents and facilitators negotiate ideals and expectations versus the realities of having children within a free school model. He makes note of the larger ideological issues that burden the school, the practical matters of maintaining safety and navigating shared space, as well as what students did with their time each day. There is tension and resolution as founding families navigate a complex educational system and their own desires. His description creates a realistic parallel for the struggles all new schools face and compromises they must make.

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