All Categories

Information & Media

Recommended books, videos, websites, blogs, podcasts, research, news, and other SDE information sources.


Books about SDE, in theory and in practice.

Deschooling Society

Ivan Illich
Schools have failed our individual needs, supporting false and misleading notions of ‘progress’ and development, fostered by the belief that ever-increasing production, consumption and profit are proper yardsticks for measuring.

Emile or On Education

J. J. Rousseau
In his pioneering treatise on education, the great French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) presents concepts that had a significant influence on the development of pedagogy in the eighteenth century.

Free to Learn

Peter Gray
Developmental psychologist (and ASDE co-founder) Peter Gray argues that in order to foster children who will thrive in today’s constantly changing world, we must entrust them to steer their own learning and development.

Freedom and Beyond

John Holt
John Holt’s brilliant and evocative 1972 Freedom and Beyond marks a significant turn in thinking about schools, when it began to become clear to many that ‘schools’ and ‘schooling,’ would be unable to hold the great forces of learning.

Get Out of the Way and Let Kids Learn

Carl Rust
This book challenges basic assumptions of traditional education and offers suggestions for ways to allow children more freedom, more agency, and more control over their own education.

Outra Escola é possível: o Modelo Sudbury de Educação

Luís Gustavo Guadalupe Silveira
Coletânea de artigos em Português sobre o Modelo Sudbury de Educação escritos por pessoas envolvidas com o cotidiano de espaços Sudbury. [Collection of articles in Portuguese on Sudbury Model of Education by groups involved with Sudbury spaces.]

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Paulo Freire
Arguing that ‘education is freedom’, Paulo Freire’s radical international classic contends that traditional teaching styles keep the poor powerless by treating them as passive, silent recipients of knowledge.

Punished By Rewards

Alfie Kohn
A landmark psychological critique of basic motivational strategy, this book attacks the strategy of dangling incentives in front of people to affect their behavior.

The Modern School Movement

Paul Avrich
Based on extensive interviews with former pupils and teachers, this Pulitzer Prize-nominated work is a seminal and important investigation into the potential of educational alternatives.

Unconditional Parenting

Alfie Kohn
This book presents a provocative challenge to the conventional wisdom of raising children.


Kerry McDonald
A primer on Unschooling and the origins of the self-directed education movement, with answers to many frequently asked questions and tons of references for further research and reading.

What Is Unschooling?

Pam Laricchia
How do children learn without school? Will it work for us? How do I get started?

Film & Video

SDE-themed movies, documentaries, videos, and TV/web series.

Approaching the Elephant

Year one at the Teddy McArdle Free School in Little Falls, New Jersey, where all classes are voluntary and rules are determined by vote. Approaching the Elephant is a vivid portrait of unfettered childhood and human relationships.

Being and Becoming

A documentary that explores the theme of trusting children and their development, and invites us to question our learning paradigms and options.

Class Dismissed movie

Class Dismissed showcases a growing trend in alternative education strategies that are working for many families across America.

Don't Stay in School

A renowned rap that highlights the fallacy that conventional schooling teaches students valuable life skills needed for the professional world.

EDiT — Education in Transformation

An Open Media Platform that amplifies the Self-Directed Education movement through Video Storytelling and a Global Upcoming SDE Events Calendar.

Schools of Trust

Schools of Trust is a German film about Self-Directed Education.

Teacher Liberation TEDx Talk - Joel Hammon

Joel Hammon talks about his decision to quit his job as a high school teacher and how creating self-directed education centers can improve the lives of teachers and their students.

Other Info & Media

Educational Heretics Press

Origionally run by Professor Roland Meighan, EHP has been publishing since 1984 on the general topic of questioning the dogma of the educational establishment. EHP also markets books produced by the Education Now Cooperative (founded in 1980).

Hilltown Families: Community-Based Education Network

Established in 2005, Hilltown Families is a community-based education network which highlights the embedded learning found throughout Western Massachusetts, making the information accessible online to self-directed and life-long learners wanting to g

Podcasts & Radio Shows

SDE-focused audio content sources.
(Note: Audiobooks are included in "Books".)

Alpine Valley School Podcast

Features interviews with graduates of Alpine Valley School, which follows the Sudbury model of education. Also includes discussions of the school’s unique philosophy, and ways to get involved.

Education Revolution Podcast

Alternative Education Resource Organization founder, Jerry Mintz, talks with people about different facets of learner-centered education.

Exploring Unschooling

From a long-time unschooling mom to three now-adult children: Unschooling fascinates me as much today as it did when we got started back in 2002, and each week on the podcast my guests and I dive deep into unschooling and living joyfully with our fam

Fare of the Free Child

A weekly podcast that centers black and brown people’s voices and experiences in discussions about unconventional parenting, particularly how we facilitate learning.

Off-Trail Learning

Interviews with self-directed learners, innovative educators, and young people blazing their own paths through life. Hosted by Blake Boles; Formerly the Real Education Podcast.

Stories of an Unschooling Family

All about radical unschooling. (It’s not as scary or as wild as some people make out!) Join me as I share ideas, stories, homeschool record-keeping tips and resources for living an unschooling life of unconditional love.

The Unschooling Life

Episodes cover many frequently asked questions and objections to Self-Directed Education and unschooling.

Unschooling And...

Exploring the ideas and practices of unschooling and Self-Directed Education

Use Your Outside Voice! Unschooling Podcast

We are three mamas, unschoolers, regular people, and revolutionaries in the many small moments, pulling together threads from our diverse experiences around living authentically with children and rejecting the school model of relationship.

Research & Journals

Scientific and academic research related to SDE.

Team of Thirty Unschoolers Survey

Judy L Arnall
This survey details thirty children who unschooled from 3 to 12 years and were all accepted to colleges, universities and tech schools. 12 of the 30 went into STEM careers (4 in Engineering).

The Most Democratic School of Them All

Christine R. Traxler
Subtitled “Why the Sudbury Model of Education Should Be Taken Seriously,” this essay by a public high school English teacher challenges the dominant model of education.

The challenges and benefits of unschooling

Peter Gray & Gina Riley
232 unschooling families answered questions about their reasons for unschooling, the path that led them to unschooling, and the major benefits and challenges of unschooling for their family.

The courage to let them play

Kristan Morrison
This article explores the question of what gives parents the courage to reject conventional schooling and choose the educational path of unschooling for their children.

Websites, Blogs & News

Online sources of SDE-related information and support.

Divergent Labs

We are creating autistic spaces that make it possible for the genius, integrity, concern for details, and specialized focus that are the trademarks of the autistic mind to be expressed to and to create value.

EDiT — Education in Transformation

An Open Media Platform that amplifies the Self-Directed Education movement through Video Storytelling and a Global Upcoming SDE Events Calendar.

Generation On

generationOn inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that is changing the world. They envision a world in which everyone has discovered their power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies.

A free website that shares long-form profiles of grown unschoolers, ages 20-99, in their own words.

I'm Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write.

A blog by a grown unschooler exploring the intersections between self-directed lifelong learning, youth rights, respectful parenting, and social justice.

Not Exactly Florida Unschoolers

A Facebook group for Florida parents seeking alternatives to independent homeschooling and unschooling; a resource for parents interested in finding or creating SDE communities (co-ops, learning centers, schools, etc.) in Florida.

Peer Unschooling Network (PUN)

A digital community for teen unschoolers to make friends, discuss projects, question the meaning of life, and support those interested in self-directed learning to take the leap.

Project-Based Homeschooling

This website offers guidance on how to mentor self-directed learners using the approach of Project-Based Homeschooling – a way to combines a child’s genuine interests with long-term, deep, complex learning.

Roots & Shoots

Roots & Shoots is a service program that empowers and encourages youth of all ages to pursue their passion, mobilize their peers, and become the leaders our world needs in order to ensure a better future for people, animals, and the environment.

School Survival

Support site for kids who hate school. Encourages them to consider SDE if possible.

Texas Unschoolers

A collection of resources for Texas homeschoolers: Homeschooling laws, TX unschooling groups, videos, other websites & blogs, unschooling conferences, colleges & transcripts, and discussion forums.

The History Tree

Educational technology website for students to learn history while learning computer technology and Internet coding.

The Homeschool Resource Roadmap

A website that provides home-educating families with summative information about more than 3,500 educational resource providers, enabling parents and children to find material best-suited to meet each child’s interests and needs.

Unschool Rules blog

Tons of SDE resources including: transcript walkthrough, breakdown by subject, PA homeschooling guide, their “curriculum” by “grade”, and “homeschooling for working moms”

Unschooling / Oskolning Sverige

Facebook group in Swedish discussing the topic of self-direction and unschooling. The group is open for active unschoolers, those interested in starting, and others curious about the topic.

See something missing?

Add a Resource