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Read about Self-Designed Learning

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Totto-Chan, The Little Girl at the Window

An autobiographical memoir written by Japanese television personality and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador - Tetsuko Kuroyanagi. It is an engaging series of childhood recollections about an ideal school in Tokyo during World War II that combined learning with fun, freedom, and love. This unusual school had old railroad cars for classrooms, and it was run by an extraordinary man- its founder and headmaster, Sosaku Kobayashi--who was a firm believer in freedom of expression and activity. He nurtured all children in his school with deep love, making sure they discover their unique passion and thrive in it. 

This is not just a book about schooling, but also about parenting and nurturing.

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Summerhill

Summerhill is A. S. Neill's "aphoristic and anecdotal" account of his "famous" "early progressive school experiment in England" founded in the 1920s, Summerhill School.

The book's intent is to demonstrate the origins and effects of unhappiness, and then show how to raise children to avoid this unhappiness. It is an "affirmation of the goodness of the child".

Summerhill is the story of Summerhill School's origins, its programs and pupils, how they live and are affected by the program, and Neill's own educational philosophy. It is split into seven chapters that introduce the school and discuss parenting, sex, morality and religion, "children's problems", "parents' problems", and "questions and answers"

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Free at Last

 A book about the excitement of life at Sudbury Valley School - a space where students have complete responsibility for their own education. The school is run by a direct democracy in which students and staff are equal citizens. Free at Last is chock-full of stories that illustrate the many unique features of this highly original model. 

Read about how Daniel Greenberg and a small team of individuals who believed in self-directed learning, bootstrapped and co-created the first Sudbury School. 

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Democratic Education

In Democratic Education: A Beginning of a Story, Yaacov Hecht takes readers on a journey through personal discovery, the history of the Democratic School of Hadera, and the theories and practical application of democratic education.

As he recounts the founding and early years of the Democratic School of Hadera, Hecht weaves the stories of students, teachers, and parents, together with theories of education, development, and methods of teaching. Equipped with an unwavering commitment to, and unconditional respect for students, Hecht shares how he and others have faced the unseen challenges of starting a school outside of the standardized norm.

An essential book for any educator, A Beginning of a Story explores the place of democratic education in one man’s life, and its capacity to transform the world.

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Deschooling Society

Deschooling Society is a 1971 book written by Austrian author Ivan Illich that critiques the role and practice of education in the modern world.

Schools have failed our individual needs, supporting false and misleading notions of 'progress' and development fostered by the belief that ever-increasing production, consumption and profit are proper yardsticks for measuring the quality of human life. Our universities have become recruiting centers for the personnel of the consumer society, certifying citizens for service, while at the same time disposing of those judged unfit for the competitive rat race. In this bold and provocative book, Illich suggest some radical and exciting reforms for the education system.