Jesse Cravens

Building Modern Web Applications and Teams that Deliver

In Search of a Balance: Integrating the Sudbury and Other Democratic Models With Moodle

I’m definitely into the hybrid thing lately. Hybrid instruction not only in the sense of implementation: online and face to face learning through moodle ( and short class lectures/discussions, but also philosophically in a sense of allowing students to have some type of control over the curriculum, and direction of their own study. Every moodle assignment I offer, is open to interpretation and creativity. This is why I believe that rubrics can potentially take the fun out of learning. They limit learners to the parameters made by the teacher. Especially when we are teaching technoloies that are more native to the learner than the educator.

This article takes a neutral approach to – what I will call the Sudbury model, but really applies to many other free, democratic school models. I agree with both sides of the argument, and I have settled on balance and moderation of both freedom and standardization. This combined with a balance between face to face and elearning and I think we might make some real progress in my classroom.
Free Radicals

In the country’s most alternative classrooms, there’s no such thing as a report card.

Sudbury schools are only one variety of so-called free, or democratic, schools, which eschew most conventions of traditional education in favor of a much more radical program. At most free schools, literally every decision, from those about staff hiring and firing to determinations concerning rules, facilities, and budget issues, is made by the entire school community in a one-person, one-vote process. There are no tests, no report cards, no requirements, and no classes – and no curriculum, other than what students set for themselves.

It is a philosophy that may strike the uninitiated as far-fetched, if not irresponsible, but it seems to be working…….