Blog | The Open School

Blog · The Open School

What should we do with children? Let children decide. Sudbury schools are bastions of children's rights

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
May 28, 2018

How can we really know what is best for another person? As far as I can tell, the only way is to give that person the freedom to decide for themselves. Traditional schools, by denying students free choice, have no way of discovering what is best for kids. All they can do is guess, based […]

Why are we afraid of kids being bored? Boredom is the precursor to curiosity, creativity, and self-discovery

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
May 6, 2018

Some people hear about a school with no required classes, or compulsory work of any kind, where kids can choose what to do with all their time, and think that this must be the easiest school in the world. Life is hard, so shouldn’t school be hard too? The fact is that Sudbury schools are […]

You can’t do Sudbury at home Why pay tuition to have your child do what they can just do at home?

by Cassi Clausen, Open School staff and co-founder
April 29, 2018

I talk to a lot of parents who are looking for a different kind of school for their kids. These people are used to having a school where teachers are creating content, planning projects, and pushing kids to do things. They may think that this is the whole point of sending their child to a […]

What if everyone in the world was happy?

by Ben Page, Open School co-founder
April 22, 2018

When we founded this school, I had one conviction, which was that each one of us, each human being, has a gift for the world. But as I thought about it more, it dawned on me that gift was the wrong word, because a gift is something you give away. Now I believe we each […]

What I talk about when I talk about skiing

by Tay Arrow, Open School staff
April 15, 2018

In my mid 20’s, I got an opportunity through my work to start alpine skiing. I was super excited. Naturally, I wanted to do some strength training to prepare for it. My skiing friends humored this rookie misunderstanding of the entire sport and quietly let me do quad strength training for a couple weeks before […]

Why are there no “nerds” in Sudbury schools? The distinction between "nerdy" and "non-nerdy" pursuits is an artifact of the traditional school system

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
April 9, 2018

There are no nerds at The Open School. In another sense, all the kids at The Open School are nerds. What I mean is that everyone at this school engages in activities which would be considered “nerdy” in a traditional school, but those activities are not considered “nerdy” here. When I was a kid I […]

The surprising truth about screen time

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
March 29, 2018

Screens and children: two things which must not be allowed to mix, according to ongoing media reports. Every day it seems there’s a new study on how digital media are damaging children and warping their development, and how video games lead to addiction and real-world violence. Moral panic about new technology is as old as […]

Who wants a standard child?

by Cassi Clausen, Open School staff and co-founder
March 24, 2018

Last week I attended a Private School Fair to promote The Open School. Whenever I talk to people at this event, my conversation with them is usually their first-ever introduction to authentically learner-centered schooling. A common question these people ask is “What about Common Core?” or “What about standards?” I must admit, I’m a little […]

We can’t take credit for students’ growth It's children's job to grow and mature, and they are very good at it

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
March 18, 2018

Many parents have mentioned how they have seen astounding growth in their kids during their years at The Open School. For example, last year one mom, Tania, said, “This is our first year at The Open School, and in these short seven months I have seen so much growth in my children in all the […]

Let our daughters wear what they want School dress codes unfairly target girls and prevent them from expressing themselves

by Tay Arrow, Open School staff
March 12, 2018

Around 3:15 PM, kids from a nearby school start walking home past the gates of The Open School. They wear uniforms in drab colors, which to me feels dystopian. Where I grew up — eastern Massachusetts in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s — uniforms were reserved for schools which also commonly practiced corporal punishment. But to […]