Daniel Greenberg, co-founder of the Sudbury Valley School, draws up a series of attributes that best describes the predominant characteristics of Sudbury graduates after 30 years of observation (1):
They are decent people. They are good friends. They know how to get along with people. They love life. They have a strong sense of self. They have self-confidence. They are adaptable. They are acquainted with passion. They are bright. They are imaginative. They are empowered. They are ethical. They are tolerant. They have a deep sense of justice. They are intensely curious. They are life-long learners. They are articulate. They are politically astute. They are physically fit.
Peter Gray and David Chanoff conducted a survey on Sudbury graduates regarding their higher education and career (2):
– 75% of the graduates reported no particular difficulty getting into the schools of their choice or doing well there once admitted. Some, including a few who had never previously taken a formal course, had gone on to highly prestigious colleges and universities and performed well.
– As a group, regardless of whether they had pursued higher education, the graduates were remarkably successful in finding employment that interested them and earned them a living. They had gone on , successfully, to a wide range of occupations, including business, arts, science, medicine, other service professions.
– 82% said their attendance at Sudbury Valley had benefited them for their future education and careers, the benefits boiled down to 4 catagories: being responsible and self-directed, high motivation for learning, skills and knowledge acquired during free play and lack of fear of authority figures
– 11% indicated that they were “glad” and 56% “very glad” that they attended Sudbury Valley rather than a more traditional school.
(1): Reflections on the Sudbury School Concept, Daniel Greenberg
(2): Free to learn, Peter Gray