EDT 190 Lecture Notes - Lecture 37: Sudbury Valley School

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14 Apr 2016
History of education
There is a possibility that if we don’t force children to go to school and we change the
system of education, we can have better education
Sudbury Valley School
Students education themselves through their own play and exploration, without
adult direction continue on and become effective adults
School provides a setting that promotes exploration, they have a first hand
account of democracy
This setting is a lot cheaper to maintain and run
Schools are products of history not logical
In the beginning people educated themselves through play and exploration
Schools are very recent institutions
Before the advent of agriculture we lived as hunters and gathers
The strong drives for children to play and explore come about from this part in
our evolution because that is how our ancestors learned things about the world
and how it worked, by exploration
Children in this time had unlimited freedom
Skill and knowledge intensive way of life
With the rise of agriculture, children were needed as laborers
Agriculture began around 10000 years ago
Became skill, knowledge and labor intensive
Agriculture allowed the production of more food, so people could have more
Allowed people to build and live in permanent dwellings
Farming required long hours of unskilled/repetitive labor
Children had to work in the field to be able to feed their younger siblings
Children’s lives went from unlimited freedom, to many hours working in the fields
to support their families
There were clear status differences. The wealthy owned much more land and
were able to produce more which helped them accumulate more wealth and
Many people entered into servitude
Children were taught to obey, suppress their own will and show respects
towards their lords and masters
Rebellious spirit could result in death
Children could be physically beaten into submission
Weren’t child labor laws until the 19th century in England
At this time education was used to squash children's rebelliousness
The idea of universal education began to spread
The idea was that childhood should be used for learning, and schools were then
developed for places for these children to learn
Many supporters with different ideas of what should be taught in these schools
Luther promoted education as a way to save souls from damnation
Mid 17th century Massachusetts became the first colony to mandate schooling
Children learned to read
They learned the alphabet
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