Report Van Damme Academy in School, College and Child development Posted May 22, 2007 As a long-time student at a school based on the Sudbury model of education, I can speak to many of its benefits and its shortcomings. I've always been actively involved in promoting the school, and I've reflected a lot recently about whether it really is an ideal model. At this time, I don't know. I do know that it is vastly superior to the majority of schooling options available today, and that overall I am very pleased with my experience. I can tell you that my experience in school has had a significant influence on my values and my confidence in them, as well as my ability to live my life according to them. I think that a flaw in most models is that day-to-day life consists of doing what others tell you to do, rather than following your own interests. Yes, you may learn math earlier at a traditional school. But at most schools, you'll hate it. When I discovered math, it was immediately inspiring to me (still is), and I pursued it with a gusto that may never have existed had I been compelled to study it. The same applies to reading, etc. For the same reasons that you need these skills in the "real world," you need them in the day-to-day pursuit of your life at school. I attended a Montessori school when I was very young. I still remember feeling that it was phony - here I was told that my life was my own, and yet I had to follow a compulsory weekly curriculum, doing things that were frequently of little to no interest to me? I wound up forging my teacher's signature on the form that was supposed to confirm that I had done my allotted tasks within the allotted time period. At my age, this forgery was very easy to spot, and I'm happy to say that my mother took it as a sign that it was time for a change. At this time, I can't imagine a better model than that of Sudbury, but I'll always be looking.