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.

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 Children naturally want to succeed

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

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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...

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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.

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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...

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Talks

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.

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Dartington Hall by Victor Bonham Carter

People who are interested in my ideas sometimes ask me for a list of books that I would recommend. This is the latest version. Some of them are almost impossible to get hold of, and some of them are not published in English, but here is the complete list, in alphabetical order according to the authors' names.


Dartington Hall: by Victor Bonham Carter

This has just been reprinted, I think. Most of it is about the Dartington Estate, but it has a wonderful 30 pages or so at the end about the school, by W. B. Curry. The copy I have was published by the Scolar Press in 1970, but the original was published in 1958 by Phoenix House.


The School I'd Like, by Catherine Burke and Ian Grosvenor
(Routledge Falmer, 2003, ISBN 0-415-30115-7)

The Guardian newspaper ran a competition for children's ideas about the school they would like. This book contains many of these ideas with rather too much adult comment. Some of the imagined ideal schools are very like Sands.


Education for Sanity: by W. B. Curry

A book about Dartington Hall School by the man who set it up in its general form. Published by Heinemann in 1947 and unfortunately almost unobtainable. Perhaps you could get it from Amazon.


Dumbing us Down, the hidden curriculum of compulsory schooling by John Taylor Gatto
New Society Publishers, 4527 Springfield Avenue, PA 19143, USA


Books about Sudbury Valley, by Dan Greenberg, for instance:

The Sudbury Valley School Experience
Free at Last

Obtainable from Sudbury Valley School, 2 Winch Street, Framingham, MA 1701, USA


How Children Fail

In my opinion the best of many by John Holt published by Pelican Books in 1969, and probably often since


The Idiot Teacher by Gerard Holmes, Faber and Faber, 1952

This is a book about Prestolee School and its Headmaster E. F. O'Neill. Prestolee is the only state school in Britain I would heartily approve of that survived more than a few years. It survived from 1918 to 1951.


Dummheit ist lernbar (You can learn to be stupid)

Angst macht krumm (Fear screws you up)

Both byJürg Jegge, published by Zytglogge Verlag Bern, Switzerland, 1991

Obtainable from www.amazon.de


Your competent child: by Jesper Juul: ISBN 0-374-52790-3

Published originally in Denmark: the translation is published in America.


Books about Summerhill by A. S. Neill, for instance:-

Summerhill (published by Hart in 1960)

That Dreadful School (Herbert Jenkins, 1937)

Hearts Not Heads in the School (Herbert Jenkins, 1945)


Freedom to Learn: by Carl Rogers and H. Jerome Freiberg: ISBN 0-02-403121-6

The bits by Carl Rogers are lovely, and the bits by H. Jerome Freiberg are not: it's easy to tell them apart.


Offener Unterricht Band 1 by Falko Peschel, Schneider Verlag Hohengehren,
ISBN 3-89676-757-7
A account of Peschel's eventually successful search for a primary classroom where children were working enthusiastically and autonomously, and his experience working in the same way with a primary class in an ordinary state school for four years.
Only available in German.


The Enquiring Classroom by Stephen Rowland

Published by the Falmer Press, about thirty years ago. I've lent my copy to someone, so I can't give any more details.


Educar para Ser (Education for being)

Ser para Educar (Being for education)

translated into German as

Erziehung zum Sein

Sein zum Erziehen

by Rebeca Wild, published by arbor-Verlag, Am Saisen 4, D-7838 Freiamt, Germany, obtainable from www.amazon.de

(There is an English translation called Education for Being, but I have never seen it anywhere, and the only mention I can find on the web is from a library in California)


The Barns Experiment by David Wills

David Wills' own account of his work with deprived children in Scotland during the second world war, published by Allen and Unwin, 1935

 Throw away thy Rod by David Wills

A description the school for problem children that he ran after the war) published by Gollancz, London, 1960
Both virtually unobtainable - possibly second-hand from Amazon?

Both these books are virtually unobtainable


Dumbing Us Down:

The hidden curriculum of compulsory schooling defined by John Taylor Gatto


I have not mentioned Maria Montessori or John Dewey or Francisco Ferrer or Célestine Freinet or Paolo Freire but I think (a) they are well enough known not to need special recommendation and (b) some of them are often either difficult or dull or not always concerned with what I would describe as democratic education.

 

English:
Przekład polski:
Auf Deutsch:
 

David Gribble : Schule im AufbruchSchule im Aufbruch

Schule im Aufbruch beschreibt Schulprojekte in England, Ecuador, Indien, Israel, Japan, Neuseeland, der Schweiz und den USA. Zwei Jahre lang bereiste David Gribble in der ganzen Welt Schulen mit alternativen Ansätzen – Schulen, bei denen der Respekt vor jedem einzelnen Kind im Mittelpunkt steht. Das Ergebnis seiner Reise ist dieses außerordentlich ermutigende und inspirierende Buch. (Aus dem Klappentext)
mehr

Mit Kindern Wachsen Verlag, Freiamt 2000
ISBN 3-933020-09-3 und 3-924195-59-5


 Auf der Seite der Kinder von David GribbleAuf der Seite der Kinder

Übersetzung von “Considering Children” mit einer Einleitung von Hartmut von Hentig.
mehr

Beltz Verlag, Weinheim und Basel, 1991.
ISBN 3-407-34052-4

 


ÜberlebensschuleÜberlebensschule
(Lifelines, von David Gribble)
Ausgegrenzte Kinder lernen in Freiheit
übersetzt von Lotte Kreissler

"Überlebensschule" beschreibt vier Bildungseinrichtungen mit aktiver Beteiligung von benachteiligten Jugendlichen, darunter "Butterflies", ein selbstorganisiertes Lernprojekt von Straßenkindern in Delhi; Moo Baan Dek, ein demokratisch strukturiertes Projekt für Waisen und verstoßene Kinder in Thailand; eine von SchülerInnen mitgegründete High School im ärmsten Viertel Chicagos sowie ein historisches Projekt von sogenannten unerziehbaren Burschen in Schottland. Die Kinder und ihre BegleiterInnen erzählen von existenziellen Problemen, von Leben und Tod, Gewalt in der Familie, vom Verhungern und von Bandenkriegen und vom Lernen in Freiheit.

David Gribble wirkt mit dem Buch dem Vorurteil entgegen, nur wohlhabende Kinder der Mittelschicht könnten verantwortungsvolles Han­deln lernen und freies Lernen verkraften. Er wendet sich dagegen, arme Kinder würden ihre Zeit verschwenden, wenn sie nicht strengstens zur Eingliederung in die Gemeinschaft erzogen würden. Als verachtete Klasse bliebe ihnen bloß die Armutsfalle, Prostitution oder das Gefängnis.

Gribble beweist, dass Vertrauen in die Kinder ihr Leben existenziell verändern kann.

BESTELLUNGEN DIREKT BEIM MANDELBAUM VERLAG.

http://www.mandelbaum.at/books/806/7695

ISBN: 978385476-654-4


 

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Edukacja w wolności  : David GribbleEdukacja w wolności

Według Autora szkolnictwo konwencjonalne "ignoruje dziecięcą ciekawość tłamsi ich wrodzoną energię i gasi szczodre odruchy spontanicznej dziecięcej moralności". Dlatego na całym świecie żyją ludzie, którzy dostrzegają wyrządzane dzieciom zło i zakładają...
więcej

Oficyna Wydawnicza “Implus”, Kraków, 2005
ISBN 83-7308-484-3


Books in English

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

Auf Deutsch

Przekład polski

Real Education by Daivid GribbleReal Education: Varieties of Freedom

When I retired from teaching I had time to visit other schools around the world where children were treated with a proper respect. They differed widely. In this book there are descriptions of eighteen schools in eight different countries, often largely (and in the case of Summerhill entirely) in the words of pupils or ex-pupils.
more

Libertarian Education, 1998, £8.95
ISBN 0-9513997-1-3

Real Education was a book of the week in the Times Educational Supplement


Lifelines by David GribbleLifelines

A common objection to freedom in education is, “Of course it works with the children of wealthy, middle-class parents, but it would never work with the underprivileged.” Lifelines gives accounts of its success with children as far from the wealthy middle class as it is possible to go.
more

Libertarian Education, 2004, £8.95
ISBN 0-9513997-9-9

Lifelines was a book of the week in the Times Educational Supplement


Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart by David GribbleThe two worlds in question are the worlds of traditional education on the one hand, and Summerhill and Sands School on the other. They are described first in the words of their own prospectuses, and then in the words of their pupils, with matching topics on facing pages.
more

Libertarian Education, 2006, £8.95
ISBN 978-0-9551647-0-5

Worlds Apart was a book of the week in the Times Educational Supplement


A Really Good School by David GribbleA Really Good School

This is a satirical novel about an impossibly bad school, where every fault of traditional education is gleefully exaggerated. It is also murder story, with appropriate red herrings and suspense.
more

Seven-ply Yarns, 2001, £7.99
ISBN 0-9538797-1-2


That’s All, Folks: Dartington Hall School Remembered

This anthology includes at least one contribution by a pupil from every year of the history of Dartington Hall School, from 1929 - 1987. It is not a eulogy, and contains some emphatic criticism.
more

West Aish Publishing, 1987, £3.95
ISBN 0 9512735 0 7

 


Children don't Start Wars

Children don't Start WarsThe theme of this book is that altruism is a natural human characteristic which is eroded by social conditioning and the dominance of impersonal institutions.

"I am floored by the blazing honesty, insight, scholarship and truthfulness that shines from every page. . . . For me, it's the book we've all been waiting for."

Mary Leue, founder of Albany Free School and editor of SKOLE, The Journal of Alternative Education.

Peace News, 2010, £9
ISBN 978-0-946409-14-13,


moreicon

Download the first two chapters here:
children.zip  40kb
Children Don't Start Wars .doc  98kb

 


 

Downloadable Books (Free)

Considering Children by David GribbleConsidering Children: A parents’ guide to progressive education

I wrote it because I had so often been asked, “What is progressive education?” and I had found that I needed a whole book to answer the question.
more

Dorling Kindersley,1985, £8.95
ISBN 0 -86318-081-7 and 0-86318-0802-5

Download the book here:
Considering Children.zip  1,174kb
Considering Children.doc  1.5MB

 


Escape from Tradition

Escape from TraditionThis is an autobiography of education. It travels from Nanny via Eton and Cambridge to Dartington Hall School, Sands School and beyond, to some of the most deprived children in the world.
moreMore

Download the book here:
Escape from Tradition.doc  0.5MB

 

A Visitor from Erewhon

A Visitor from ErewhonIn Erewhon and Erewhon Revisited Samuel Butler delighted in attacking the complacency and hypocrisy of Victorian manners and religion. In A Visitor from Erewhon I attempt to do the same for the customs and beliefs of our early twenty-first century.
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Download the book here:
A Visitor from Erewhon  635KB

 

Authoritarian Schooling

Authoritarian SchoolingThis is strictly speaking a website rather than a book, but it started out as a book. I had written a lot about places of education that I admired, but apart from one satirical novel, A Really Good School, I had not written anything much about what I disapproved of. Even when I started I intended to describe it as a catalogue rather than a book - A Catalogue of Damage was to be the title. I pictured it as a coffee-table book with a great many illustrations, but I found that I wanted too much text for that format, and I suddenly realised that the ideal structure would be a website, where readers could dodge from one topic to another as they liked. Since 2012, when the site was first posted, there have been over 130,000 hits on individual items, so it seems to have been a good idea.
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Other recommended reading about democratic education

 

 

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.

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Books by David Gribble


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

crossword 20a

Crosswords

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.

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