Progressive Education Provider Voices

Click on the links below to read some of our interviews with progressive education providers (i.e. schools and learning communities) to find out why progressive education is important to them and how education could be reimagined for the 21st century.

1. Ian Cunningham – Chair of Governors, Self-Managed Learning College

“Students can literally learn anything that they want. We encourage students to be challenging and creative in what they want to do with their lives.”

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2. Aaron Eden – SDE Advocate and Executive Director at US Brightworks

“In a safe, rich environment, healthy, vibrant community, with minimal adult intervention – but strong modelling – children become educated through instinct.”

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3. Sarah Cummins – Founder and Head Teacher, Garden City Montessori

“Montessori states that “the education of even a small child does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life,” and this should be how it is.”

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4. Kezia Cantwell-Wright – Founder of East Kent Sudbury School

“It is only when you put the child’s needs as the starting point for determining their education that you really equip them to flourish, and that is what I believe the purpose of education should be.”

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5. Je’anna Clements – Founder of a Self-Directed Education Community

“SDE is a civil rights issue for me, rather than a lifestyle choice or education option. I believe that deep consent in education is a non-negotiable from a human rights perspective.” 

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6. Peter Berg – Organiser at the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO)

“When we partner with learners, they can follow their interests and be empowered to know themselves well and be who they are. It’s the natural way we learn. With this type of approach there is synergy and flow rather than angst.”  

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7. Caroline Gladkow – Founder of Nurture in Nature Forest School

“Children learn best when they follow their own interests, are enthused and engaged, they learn by doing and exploring; in situations when they don’t even realise they are learning. In order to do this we need to step away from the traditional hierarchical/authoritarian approach to education.” 

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8. Kirstin Coughtrie – Founder of Online School, GeoVLE

“We need individuals that are able to quickly adapt to the rapid changes in our society, that are emotionally resilient and aware. This demands lateral thinkers and problem solvers to which the current system does not necessarily create or nurture.

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Voices from the Sector

Read more personal stories here.