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In democratic free schools, like Sudbury Valley School, students are free to follow their interests without any compulsory courses or exams. In follow-up studies, former students are happy and successful even though they were never formally "taught" to read, do math, or write a "book report".

The typical school model was designed to control students, it is unnecessary and even harmful to real education. Non-compulsory education is not just for smart kids, all children have a natural inclination to learn.



I agree insofar that it greatly benefitted me that I was pretty much free to do as I pleased from age 12 to 18, and then semi-free throughout college.

But looking at my siblings and some of my friends, I hesitate to make a blanket statement about this freedom. Perhaps everyone can do well if they're given this freedom from a very young age. I don't know. But I've met plenty of people who, if given this freedom in middle/high school (12+?), would not have been able to handle it. Whether this is because they already were 'corrupted' up to that age, or whether they have different personalities, I don't know. But I've seen it happen.

Just because you've seen it happen doesn't mean it always happens, so I'd hesitate to make a "freedom is good for me and not most people" statement. Here's an anecdote with a reference (still not that great I know), a 20 year old is arrested for armed robbery and goes to jail for 3 years, later he discovers heroin, and then much later he kicks the habit and becomes a Saxophone Colossus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonny_Rollins

My point was merely that I hesitate to conclude that this kind of freedom works for everyone. Personally I think it works much better for many more people than we often tend to think, so I'm actually in favor of schooling that is more free.

The need to trade nature/randomness for predictability, bandwidth and absurd indicators pops in a lot of places, it's somehow scary.

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