For most people, such an idea will bring visions of Lord of the Flies. They can imagine only the worst, that surely pretty much every child will end up hurt.
The exact opposite happened. Playground accidents went down. So, too, did bullying. It turned out that in a more relaxed atmosphere, there was less tension, and thus less cause for distraction and anger. The kids looked out for each other and respected each other because it made sense, not because it was forced.
How does this come back around to Sudbury? It can’t be said that we have no rules. But we do have fewer rules, and those rules that do exist are a) determined by the students and b) related to safety and other people’s boundaries. And we see the same level of safety as Swanson Primary has discovered.
Less concentration on authority, better results. It works everywhere.
Sean Vivier, MLSS Staff