Albany Free School Alumni - Life Outcomes


  • Kristan Accles Morrison Radford University


This article is a report on data collected in a survey of 18 alumni of the Albany Free School (AFS) (participants were 18 years or older at the time of the survey and had attended the AFS for at least 3 years). The AFS is a democratic free school where students are free to develop their own unique curriculum in a self-directed fashion. Critics of such schools fear for the future possibilities of students; however, proponents of this model claim that students’ life outcomes are not hampered by such alternative approaches to education. Advocates argue that the graduates of democratic free schools are amply prepared for a variety of choices in life, including attending institutions of higher education, pursuing a career that they find personally meaningful, and engaging in fulfilling relationships. This study corroborates those claims and shows, through an analysis of the quantitative data collected in this survey that life outcomes are positive for the alumni of the AFS, that the graduates are unimpeded in obtaining further education should they decide to seek it and are often successful in their higher education studies; have satisfying careers in a wide range of fields with the number of those becoming artists or entrepreneurs disproportionate to the general population of conventional-school attending people; and generally are eager to engage in lifelong learning...

Author Biography

Kristan Accles Morrison, Radford University

School of Teacher Education and Leadership