Learn more about Clearwater and
other self-directed approaches to Education
Articles about The Clearwater School
Free to Learn: The Clearwater School – Co-founder Stephanie Sarantos reflects on the joys of student-initiated learning at Clearwater, from her perspective as parent and staff member.
No assignments. No tests. No grades. It’s “no problem” for Bothell school. – This Seattle Times article is the result of many hours that reporter Linda Shaw spent at Clearwater interviewing students and staff, observing and sometimes participating in the day’s activities.
Why Not Offer Classes? An email dialogue – Clearwater parents and staff explore the pitfalls of adult-initiated class offerings.
Why Enroll In The Clearwater School? Because It Prepares Kids to Pursue Life – Co-founder Tom Campbell lays out evidence that Clearwater graduates are ideally suited for success in the workforce and the adult world.
Freedom, Boredom, and Motivation – Stephanie Sarantos explains the role of boredom in learning at a Sudbury school.
When Our Children’s Vision Exceeds Our Grasp – Co-founder Shawna Lee relates what happens when parents overcome their resistance to trusting their children.
Two Girls and a Goldfish – Former staff member Nora Wheat on letting young children work out conflict on their own.
Fearing Freedom – Stephanie Sarantos addresses the common fear that children won’t use their time at Clearwater wisely.
“Don’t You See I Don’t Have Time for This?” – When Nora Wheat’s six-year-old son convinced her that a structured kindergarten was hindering the pursuit of his passions, she enrolled him at Clearwater.
Working with Uncertainty – Reflections on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and what Stephanie Sarantos learned from the various ways students at Clearwater processed these events.
What Are You Learning in School? – Shawna Lee describes how Clearwater students learn: constantly, fluidly and much like adults learn.
In Defense of Computer and Video Games – Due to lack of exposure, most adults misunderstand the nature and value of computer and video games, explains Shawna Lee; she sees passionate engagement, learning, discussion and imagination among young gamers at Clearwater.
On Video Gaming – Stephanie Sarantos on parent discomfort with open access to computer and video games and on the importance of trusting children to choose how to spend their time.
Why The Clearwater School Works – Stephanie Sarantos summarizes research—in psychology, human development and learning theory—documenting the benefits of the Sudbury model.
Articles about the Sudbury Model
Articles at Sudbury Valley School – Articles and videos on a wide variety of topics, including life at Sudbury Valley, alumni, and underlying ideas.
OK, So You’re Sort of Like … – Romey Pittman, co-founder of Fairhaven School, contrasts the Sudbury model with other models of alternative education.
How Kids Learn…and Learn…and Learn – Romey Pittman describes learning as a process of construction.
Education: Class Dismissed – Hara Estroff Romano’s in-depth portrait of Sudbury Valley School in Psychology Today.
The Learning Edge – Jim Reitmulder, co-founder of The Circle School, explores a complex framework of ideas supporting the practice of self-directed schooling.
The Value of Serious Play – In this thought-provoking article reprinted from Educational Technology Magazine, the authors propose that play is “a suitable goal for those situations requiring children or adults to engage in creative higher-order thinking coupled with intense personal commitment and involvement.”
Ten Signs that You Need to Find a Different Kind of Education for Your Child – Jerry Mintz of AERO–The Alternative Education Resource Organization on cues from your child’s behavior and emotions that indicate a bad fit with the school environment.
A plea to trust schools – not just tests – Interview with leading education reformer and author Deborah Meier by Amanda Paulson in The Christian Science Monitor.
Against School: How public education cripples our kids, and why – John Taylor Gatto, former New York State Teacher of the Year and opponent of compulsory education, sounds off in the September 2003 issue of Harper’s.
AERO, the Alternative Education Resource Organization – AERO’s goal is to advance student-driven, learner-centered approaches to education.
Challenging the Myths of Modern Schooling – A website featuring the writings of John Taylor Gatto, a former New York State Teacher of the Year who is now an activist and public speaker against compulsory education.
Freedom to Learn – The Psychology Today blog of Peter Gray, a professor of psychology at Boston College who writes about alternative approaches to education and the life-long value of play.
The Center for Nonviolent Communication – An approach to communication and conflict resolution that has informed problem-solving at Clearwater.
I’m Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write. – Blog by childhood unschooler and lifelong learner, Idzie Desmarais of Montreal, Quebec about unschooling, reading, teaching vs. learning, respectful parenting and socialization.
IDEA (Institute for Democratic Education in America) – A nonprofit organization that supports and showcases democratic education settings.