Recommended Reading

Books and articles to further your journey

Recommended Reading

The Circle School is part of an international movement of democratic schools with a rich and ever-evolving body of literature.

Resources to view online or read in print. Dig deeper into democratic schooling theory and practice, and related ideas.


When Kids Rule the School

by Circle School
co-founder & staff member
Jim Rietmulder

Free to Learn

by Peter Gray

Empowered Kids / Liberated Parents

by Cassi Clausen
& Aaron Browder

Online and download

Practicing Life: A Circle School Sampler

Introducing The Circle School in a magazine-style publication with hundreds of photos, covering Basics, Stories, Ideas, Practice, and Photo Features. To view online, click here or on the image. To download as a PDF, click here. Available in print, too.

The Meadow Campaign Five Years Later

In 2016, The Circle School broke ground to build our forever home on the Meadow Campus. Five years later…

Wanted: A Few Good Females

A discussion of why it’s important to consider self-directed democratic schooling for our daughters. By former Philly Free School staff member (and current Circle School parent) Michelle Loucas.

How Does It Work In Concept?

Mix two PURPOSES of education with two IDEALS in schooling, and bake in a simple metaphor for what school can be. Then ice the cake with “secondary ideals” and “daily practices”. Enjoy.

What Are Teachers Good For?

Three things that teachers are good for, and three things they’re not. By Aaron Browder, staff member at The Open School in California.

Circle School Graduates in College

A 2015 look at Circle School graduates

Ends We Seek

Thirteen ideals The Circle School strives for. Built into the school’s bylaws.

Mission and Methods

A 2-minute outline of the school’s mission, beliefs, values, and methods.

School Governance

The Circle School has three governing bodies. Each has certain responsibilities and duties. Each defers to the other two in certain ways. Three full-page diagrams illustrating how the school is governed — structures, functions, and ideals.

Self-Directed Education's Optimizing Conditions

The Alliance for Self-Directed Education lays out six “optimizing conditions” for self-directed education. Here’s how The Circle School meets them.