Multiplication Tables

Dale R. Reed (
Wed, 08 Jan 1997 09:06:03 -0800

Good morning from Seattle, Washington.

I am enjoying your returns but you are not answering my question. I
want to know if the Sudbury Valley schools are INDIVIDUAL student
directed or is the student's education controlled mostly by the
rule(democratically and by peer pressure) of the group comprised of the
other students and the staff.

Maybe some examples would help.

What if a student has a neighbor buddy that just got a Radio Amateurs
license and decides he or she wants to learn the Morse code up to 5
words/minute during the next month. Would the student be able to find
at least one other person(staff or student) at a Sudbury Valley school
willing to spend the next month helping him or her learn the code?

What if a student decides that a year from now he or she wants to win
the State Spelling Bee contest. Would he or she be able to find
someone(staff and students) at a Sudbury Valley school willing to spend
the hundreds of hours with him or her in practice to become a spelling
bee champion? Would the other students, that did not want to learn how
to spell, make fun of him or her? According to what I read peer
pressure is the most important influence on young adults. More
important than family background, school quality, . . . . anything else.

What if a student wanted to make a presentation to the legislature or
the local school board or whatever in the next couple months. Would he
or she be able to find a speech coach and a willing audience at the
school to help him or her make an effective presentation no matter how
politically correct his or her message might be to the other students
and staff?

What if a student wanted to learn the multiplication tables up to the
10x10's during the next couple weeks for whatever reason. Would he or
she find someone to teach them to him or her at a Sudbury Valley

I want to know what the Sudbury Valley model schools experiences are
toward the efforts of INDIVIDUAL students that attempt to define
themselves differently than the majority of staff and students at the
school. How much help(I would call it teaching) should he or she expect
from the staff? How well would the other students accept his or her

I do NOT have good memories on these accounts from my experiences in the
alternative establishment. Dale