What Happens When We Give Students More Freedom?

In her article on the guardian.com, journalist Eleanor Ross writes that many students struggle with the enforced structure of the traditional educational approach. Could it be that the way forward is fewer rules, more freedom, and more autonomy for the students? Atlantic College and Summerhill are just two examples of educational centres where this more liberal approach is working extremely well.

Charlotte von Bulow, Chief Executive of Crossfields Institute, says:

“Within our debates and conversations about more autonomy and freedom for students, we need to keep asking the bigger question about what freedom really means in an educational context. We need to look at notions like freedom from versus freedom to, and perhaps we even need to start thinking about what freedom in means. Initially, I believe we need to create educational contexts within which students feel free to ask questions and take initiative. In essence, we need to create educational processes that facilitate that students are free to be who they truly are and that they feel invited to pursue the realisation of their potential. This is a process of developing self-knowledge. When we begin to get to know ourselves we can also to begin to understand more fully what it means to take responsibility for our actions. This can then instigate an inquiry into what freedom in action may look like from the point of view of developing an ethical individualism.”