Who Asks the Questions?


  • David Gribble International Democratic Education Network


questions, self-government, mutual respect, shared responsibility


If children are to grow up to be responsible adults who contribute to the development of an ideal society, they need to feel able to ask questions of their own rather than simply learning the answers to other people’s questions. This idea is expanded, and examples are given of places where such an approach has been adopted.

This is a lightly edited transcript of a talk given by David Gribble at a conference on Challenging Learner Voice, organised by Futurelab at Warwick University on October 23rd 2008.

Author Biography

David Gribble, International Democratic Education Network

David Gribble is one of the joint founders of Sands School, Devon. He is a widely recognised activist and expert in alternative schooling models. He is Co-ordinator of the International Democratic Education Network (IDEN): Editor for the Lib Ed collective.

See http://www.davidgribble.co.uk/


Biesta, G. J. J. (2006). Beyond learning: democratic education for a human future. Boulder, Co.: Paradigm Publishers.

Bonham Carter, V. (1970). Dartington Hall: the formative years: 1925-1957. Dulverton, Somerset: The Exmoor Press.

Croce, O., Hill, B. & Williams, M. (1996). Running our School. In M. John (Ed.) Children in charge: the child's right to a fair hearing (pp. 129 – 134). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Gribble, D. (1998). Real education: varieties of freedom. Bristol, Libertarian Education.

Gribble, D. (2004). Lifelines. London, Libertarian Education.

Jegge, J. (1991). Dummheit ist lernbar. Bern, Zytglogge Verlag.

Juul, J. (2000). Your competent child. New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux

Pawsey, V. (1987). Vanessa Pawsey (Martin). In D. Gribble (Ed.) That’s All Folks: Dartington Hall School Remembered (pp. 89-93). Crediton, Devon: West Aish Publishing.

Peschel, F. (2003). Offener Unterricht. Baltmannsweiler: Schneiderverlag, Hohengehren GmbH.

Phoenix Education Trust, The. (Producer). (2006). Dartington Hall School Reunion [Motion picture]. United Kingdom: The Phoenix Education Trust. Available from the Pheonix Education Trust, ESSA, Third Floor, Cityside House, 40 Adler St, London. E1 1EE, UK.

Stallibrass, A. (1989). Being me and also us: Lessons from the Peckham experiment. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.






Invited papers