Home » Resources That Inspired Us

If you are browsing this page, you probably really want to understand more about the philosophy behind our work. Below is a short list (to be continuously expanded) of resources we have read or watched and that inspired us that we would love to share with you here. Keep checking here again for continuous additions. You can also send us your favorite resource to add to the list!

Recommended Articles

  • How to Radically Unleash a Generation of Geniuses? , Joshua Davis. This article shares a trace back of alternative schools across history and current experiments around the world. It includes an inspirational story of a Mexican teacher who had no resources in his public school classroom but still managed to support his children unleash their genius abilities



Recommended Videos and Movies 

Hackschooling Makes Me Happy, Logan LaPlante

A teenager shares his experience of hacking his own schooling on a TEDx stage

Occupation of Knowledge, Munir Fasheh (ARABIC)

The need to unlearn what school taught us and go back to our knowledge roots, a journey of a Harvard Math professor and a famous Arab thinker on education.


What is Self-Directed Education?

From the Alliance of Self-Directed Education

Do Schools Kill Creativity? by Sir Ken Robinson

The most viewed TED talk worldwide

Changing Education Paradigms, Sir Ken Robinson 

Build a School in the Cloud, Sugata Mitra 

On Self-Organized Learning Environments and an inspiring vision informed by field research with kids who were able to teach themselves in rural parts of India. 


Short Animation Movie on the effects on Schooling 

Schooling the World

One of our top favorite documentaries on schooling around the world 

Movie: Summer Hill Experience

One of the first democratic schools in the 20th century and of the long lasting ones, Summer Hill stands until the present day as a proof on Self-Directed Education. 


I Just Sued The School System (with Arabic subtitles)

A short, fun video on putting the school system on trial! 

Recommended Poetry 

The Parrot’s Training by Rabrindranath Tagore

Original text can be found HERE , an audio version can be listened to HERE 

And a more modern version that suits our world nowadays was developed by Shikshantar: The People’s Institute for Rethinking Education and Development, this one can be found HERE. 

Recommended Research Papers and Journals

Self-Directed Education—Unschooling and Democratic Schooling, Peter Gray

A tracing of the history of self-directed education, unschooling and democratic schooling as well as its results,

Emerging and re-emerging learning communities, old wisdoms and new initiatives from around the world, Sheela Pimpare and Munir Fasheh

“The common urge is to recognize, legitimize and revitalise, or create worldviews underlying diverse traditional cultures, submerged during the last few centuries by the processes of colonisation and development, to regenerate the wisdom embedded in these cultures and to create novel initiatives for learning and growing as communities”. 

Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning – JUAL

This journal seeks to bring together an international community of scholars exploring the topic of unschooling and alternative learning, which espouses learner centered democratic approaches to learning. JUAL is also a space to reveal the limitations of mainstream schooling”. You can find case studies of alternative learning, democratic education, unschooling and self-directed education from around the world.


Recommended Books 

Hekayti Maa Al Riyadhyat, Munir Fasheh

The Ignorant Schoolmaster, Jacques Ranciere

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire

Pedagogy of Empowerment, Malak Zaalouk

De-schooling Society, Ivan Illich

On Education, J. Krishnamurti

Dumbing Us Down, John Taylor Gatto

Better than College, How to Build A Successful Life Without A Four Year Degree, Blake Boles (subscribe to the writer’s website to get a free copy)

Free to Learn, Peter Gray

Finite and Infinite Games, James P. Carse

Recommended Resource Pages/ Online Libraries 

Still want more?! This is GREAT! Below are two of our favorite websites with online libraries and/or listings of further resources on topics of: free learning, indigenous knowledge, alternative learning, reclaiming our lives, unschooling, self-directed and democratic education! ENJOY!


Our all-time-favorite is all the productions and library resources of our friends organization, Shikshantar: The People’s institute for rethinking education and development, a 19-year old think tank and activist resource center on alternative learning and living. Visit their library page to find innumerable books, articles and movies.


The magazine “Growing Without Schooling”, has a long page of resources on homeschooling, unschooling and self-directed education. It can answer all the possible questions you may have as well as provide links to additional books, articles and websites. 


Want to add your favorite resource to the list? Email us at sde.egypt@gmail.com . Want to know more about how we convert these ideals into a learning community in Egypt, visit how a typical day at our space looks like!