There is no need to be in a hurry to grow up!

Teachers know more about their subjects but children know more about what it is like to be a child.


 Children naturally want to succeed

Why do so many teachers treat them as if they wanted to fail?


In conventional schools children are literally prisoners: the law keeps them in

Learning according to inclination is not an option; children's inclinations are not considered relevant; adults tell them what they must learn

They make the best of it and enjoy themselves as much as they can, but they are always under someone else's authority, unable to conduct themselves as they would wish, unable to follow up their own interests. School seems to be designed to destroy their individuality, to turn them all, as the Swiss teacher, Jürg Jegge says, into cogwheels that will fit smoothly into the machinery of society...


Education for Freedom

education for freedomAll over the Western world education is being reduced to forcing as many children as possible to take as many exams as possible ...

No wonder many children resist such attempts at control by creating classroom disturbance.


Unhappy at School?

A boy unhappy at school

When children are unhappy at school it is the schools that need to change, not the children.

It is a rational reaction to be unhappy when you have no power to change the situation you find yourself in...



David GribbleDemocratic Education is a growing movement, it is now being offered by over 200 places in more than 30 countries. I have given talks on the subject in France, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Poland and Spain as well as Germany, Austria and the UK.


Real Education by David Gribble


All over the world there are conventional schools that ignore children's curiosity, suppress their energy and overrule their generous moral impulses.

And all over the world, as I have at last discovered, there are people who have seen the damage that this does, and have set up schools that are different. I have written about eighteen of these schools in Real Education: Varieties of Freedom, and another four, at greater length, in Lifelines.

They are schools which decline to train children to become cogs, and indeed help children who have been so trained to lose their "coggishness."

About David Gribble

We all tend to define ourselves as what we are now, forgetting that we were just as much ourselves when we were children.

People learn as they grow older, but they also forget. They acquire new skills, but such qualities as empathy, imagination and flexibility gradually fade. We all change, but not necessarily for the better.

At eighty-five I am not the same person as I was when I was twenty, or ten, or two. Nevertheless, what I have been is just as important as what I am now.


Books by David Gribble

All the books listed except Considering Children can be bought from
the Lib Ed website, Considering Children can be
downloaded here, or bought second-hand through Abe Books or Amazon.

crossword 20a


One of the things I do in my spare time is compile crosswords.

In the Saturday edition of The Times there is a special place for what is called The Listener Crossword.

The puzzles that appear there are supposed to be the world’s most difficult crosswords.

Compilers always have pseudonyms – mine is Waterloo.