Cutting Edge

Fearless Communicator

Hinging' Out

Student Freedom

Social IQ

Self Actualization

Sudbury Valley




Multiage Education

Multiage Benefits


Traditional  Education
A Student's View on Violence

Columbine, W. Post


The collection of papers presented here focuses on a new view of how to enable our children to realize their full potential.  Two models of education reform underlie many of the papers presented in this web site.  The reader, unfamiliar with Multiage Education or the Sudbury Valley model, (RESPECT- What Children get in Democratic Schools) should review these brief descriptions.


To begin we must rethink our perception of the manner in which a child acquires new knowledge.  Today’s children, who have been bombarded with high powered media since birth, are highly efficient acquirers of knowledge, eons beyond most teachers in our schools.  Empowering the Child: Nurturing the Hungry Mind (Chapter 1 will be available shortly) and the Raebecks Five elements (several papers will be added shortly) will provide the reader with some new insights into a new/old perception of child knowledge acquisition.


The second element, of our new perception of the child, is that of discipline. The distinction between externally imposed discipline and self discipline is discussed in From Discipline to Self Actualization.  The related issues of freedom and its relation to self initiation and the efficiency of learning is presented in The Freedom Continuum.


The third element focuses on a revised view of how a child becomes a fully functioning adult through the refining of their social interaction skills. The Preeminent Intelligence, Social IQ, brings together a variety of resources in support of this tenant.  Hanging Out, a critical step in becoming a Fearless Communicator documents how students from one school make the transition from being shy and withdrawn to that of a Fearless Communicator.


A parallel paper on Hangin' Out, by Audrey Raebeck demonstrates how this socialization process works even for a mature (retired) population.


Finally I have included a short, student written paper, A Fabricated World of Kings and Queens which calls out for the restricting of our schools to better meet the social needs of our students.


What follows represents an approximation of well developed arguments for considering alternatives to our present thinking on how to educate our children.  The writing is enhanced by many quotations from adventurous teachers who are bold enough to place themselves on the firing line of educational change.  I invite you to add to this dialog, your and your students experiences of education at the cutting edge.  E-mail your anecdotal reports of successes in your classroom and beyond.  I will be pleased to add them to this site with full credit given to you,  your students or their parents. 


The Preeminent Intelligence - Social IQ

This paper discusses the important dimension of social skill development and it's relevance to the further refinement of the intellect.  The examples of operating schools where social interaction is clearly demonstrated are drawn from the author's familiarity with multiage education and the Sudbury Valley model.  Further support of this thesis is drawn from such diverse sources as Leakey's, Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human, Humphrey's The Inner Eye, and Gardner's Frames of Mind.  The paper concludes with anecdotal accounts of student achievements in the Multiage and Sudbury Valley schools.

The Freedom Continuum

Humanisticly sensitive teachers recognize students need for some degree of freedom in order to fully develop their sense of personal responsibility .  As this issue is explored the author brings into play other variables that contribute to a students ability to become self actualized.  A variety of classroom structures are compared on a continuum from the restrictions of a traditional classroom to the total freedom of the Sudbury Valley model.


From Discipline to Self Actualization

The concept of a well disciplined child, where the parent or teacher is the disciplinarian, is here being challenged with the idea that subjecting children to a regimen of constant external discipline for all of their formative years yields an undesirable effect. The long term behavioral consequence of such subjection is a young adult that has had little to no experience in how to handle freedom and responsibility which brings with it a corresponding low level of self esteem .The author supports this argument for more student freedom in order to develop self discipline and self actualization skills with quotations from The Coalition of Essential Schools, Multiage educators and a founder of the Sudbury Valley School.