The Sudbury model of education originated at the Sudbury Valley School in Framingham, MA in 1968. Since its inception, many schools modeled in its image have arisen across the nation and abroad. Nashville Sudbury School is the first of its kind in Tennessee. The model is characterized by mixed-age learning that is 100% self-directed and operates under a democratic governance. Decision-making for all matters concerning the school is facilitated through the School Meeting, in which each enrolled student and each staff member has an equal vote and a voice in all decision making regarding the school, and by a system of justice available through the Judicial Committee, made up for members of the student community as well as one staff member. Staff and students are all on equal footing which solidifies the democratic model.
Children should have complete freedom and control to learn regardless of age, achievement, or ability. The underlying principles of the Sudbury model promote play-based and organic learning, where students gain independence, follow their interests, create, explore, and engage in their community. Balancing the interests and decisions of each individual child within the greater community is the beauty of self direction in democracy. This model gives children the opportunity to explore their individual needs and desires all the while managing how that can bump up against or merge with others in the community. Through bridging those intersections, students and staff create an environment together that builds upon mutual respect for each other and a commitment to their community. The Nashville Sudbury School is truly at the intersection of individual freedom and democracy. For more details on the Sudbury Model, visit our FAQ and Resources links.