About

Riverstone Village 

Riverstone Village (RsV) is an age-mixed Self-Directed Education community with members aged 4 and up. Our main age range is from 4-24 years of age (to accommodate Self-Directed further studies) with no upper age limit. Staff and members are distinguished by role rather than age. 

RsV is run by the participants. Every week there is at least one Meeting where every member and staff member has one vote, which handles everything from rule-making, to acquisitions, to hire and fire of staff. The best possible education involves learning how to make your own life happen.

Our current home is a big and beautiful 2ha plot in North Riding, Johannesburg complete with various buildings (use of rooms is decided by members), swimming pool, old tennis court perfect for roller-blading and J-boarding, and of course Hazard’s Haven adventure junkyard.

Riverstone Village is inspired by the ‘university of Robben Island’ and by Sudbury Valley School (SVS) founded in Massachusetts USA in 1968 and still going strong today. Studying the outcomes of SVS to reassure himself that his own newly enrolled son could get a decent education, research psychologist Dr. Peter Gray found that:

“Graduates of Sudbury Valley can be found today in the whole range of careers that are valued by our society. They are skilled craftsmen, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, scientists, social workers, nurses, doctors, and so on. Those who chose to pursue higher education had no particular difficulties getting into colleges and universities, including highly selective ones, or performing well there once admitted. Many others have become successful in careers without going to college.”

More important, former students report that they are happy with their lives. They are almost unanimous in reporting that they are glad that they attended Sudbury Valley and in believing that the school prepared them better than a traditional school would have for the realities of adult existence. To a considerable degree they maintain, in adulthood, the playful (and that means focused and intense as well as joyful) attitude to careers and life that they developed and refined while at the school.”

Dr. Peter Gray

You can read more about SVS graduates here.

Learning and teaching have nothing to do with each other…

Daniel Greenberg

Children educate themselves; we don’t have to do it for them.

Dr. Peter Gray

Who are you? What do you want to be? What are your gifts? What are your passions? … Your voice matters. Who you are, who you were created to be, MATTERS.

Dr. Anika Prather