Re: Karen's Question: What did you think of SVS?
Fri, 22 Nov 1996 15:17:01 -0500

Betsy here.
You wrote:
i am inclined to believe this, although i have little direct experiance
with the effects of the SVS system, merely because of my observations of
human nature.
to me, as a person who has concerned themselves deeply with the nature
of thought and learning, the idea that freedom is integral to education
is beyond possible -- it seems almost undeniable.

the problem with this observation, as unshakably valid as it seems, is
that there are very, very few people adopting the SVS model.
if the model is superior in nearly every way to the model currently in
general use, why is it that there is no widespread movement in its

ostensibly the explanation is that changing our educational model, as
changing any belief system, is scary. but does this fear really have
the ability to persist for decades against the onslaught of scientific
and observational data?

it looks to me like there is something fishy going on.

My experience tells me that yes, this fear does have the ability to persist
for decades, and in my naivete, I haven't figured out why.
In all my conversations in opening a democratic school I met this fear in
_every_ person I spoke with. Some people are open enough to engage, and then
to think, and then to examine beliefs they hold as truth. Sadly, most people
hear it and promptly slam the door. I assume that's the fear.
What seems fishy to me is the mind that stays closed - and many, many closed
minds are sitting in official positions. And the hundred or so people at
young democratic schools and startup groups are meeting them every day. Some
make progress against the tides; some don't.