Sudbury Schools: When Education Doesn”t End “There”

Posted on July 3, 2012 in Education

By Anjum Dhamija:

Education is an integral aspect of our lives which has been recently given the status of a fundamental right in India. This right provides us access to study a set curriculum in subjects of Mathematics, Science, English, Hindi, Social sciences at a basic level. It is believed that these courses give us a foundation that would prepare us to take up challenges faced in life ahead. What challenges are we going to face in future, is completely unknown to us. So, like a sincere student, if at all you are one, you will do what teacher says. And, what should a teacher say who did the same in his/her childhood. There is always one best way to do a task, which is taught to us and we are supposed to remember that as a lesson for life. Creativity ends here. If you are being taught that this is red color, you ought to remember that it is red. You can’t remember it as the color of rose, color of blood or color of apple because all these are different shades and you should remember just one color. Interpretation ends here.

We all are crushed outcomes of the same amalgam of unidirectional approaches. No doubt, most of us are still successful in our respective fields. But, let us ask ourselves if there is nothing else in this world which attracts us and tells us that you would have loved being in that profession. Then, why don’t we question, why don’t we complain that we are being made to love what we do. Although we crib about the current system, yet there is an inertia that pulls us away from change. We actually don’t want to come out of our comfort zone of linear career paths to adopt a zigzag exploration path.

However, there are concepts which take a lead from human psychology of making choices, and these concepts have actually been put into practice. The concept known as Sudbury schools is built on the foundation of democratic education. It is believed that children should be left free to decide what they want to learn, when and how. They make the choice, put it into action and bear the consequences also themselves. Your interest group or study group is not bounded by your age. Your failure in one thing doesn’t entitle you to do the same thing; you can choose anything that you want. Today, there are some 30 Sudbury schools all over the world that are encouraging people to explore, innovate and inspire their own lives. May be that is a kind of solution that would help break this inertia.