Below are some of the books that we have found particularly influential. If you are interested in what education could be, then they are highly recommended. Alternatively if you would like to discuss any of your own ideas, please get in contact!
John Holt is, in our opinion, the father of alternative approaches to education. His style of writing is very engaging as it is peppered with lots of specific examples which shows the reasons why he became disillusioned with mainstream education and how he discovered the process of learning through simple and open observation. He also presents an excellent chapter on the value of fantasy within children's play.
Invaluable to educators and parents alike, based on Holt's own observations of how children learn.
Gatto, like Holt, worked in mainstream education for many years, before he became certain that there had to be a more beneficial alternative. If you feel that state education is harmful, then he will give you some reasons why, as well as some good alternative suggestions.
Full of profound observations that make you wonder why they are not more commonplace. If we can teach children to learn and think for themselves, then society can leave behind the status quo and allow real change to happen.
Krishnamurti was a great thinker. He realised that real change in society could only happen through education, and so started a number of schools in India, the UK and the US. This book is a collection of letters that he wrote to teachers at these schools. He asks that they study their own conditioning so that they do not pass on their prejudices and belief structures to the children in their care. He warns of the dangers of authority (books, teachers or inherited beliefs) in education as they serve to reduce a child's willingness to question.