For example, research shows no real gains from homework, yet teachers are required by the administration to give homework every night. Those who score best on standardized tests do so when they haven’t aimed for the test, nor is there any established correlation between test scores and life success. Yet the public schools still emphasize high-stakes testing. We know that cramming is the worst possible way to learn, yet many teachers still encourage their students to study the night before a test. We know that grades reduce motivation, yet traditional schools still have them. The list goes on quite a ways.
It only makes sense. The incentives in a compulsory system discourage innovation. Teachers do as they’re told, because they don’t want to lose their jobs.
But in a Sudbury school, we don’t have the same problem. We can act without awaiting permission. We don’t have to worry about tests and homework. We can just help the students learn what they choose to learn, the only tried and true method for lasting learning.