Re: Multiplication Tables
Wed, 8 Jan 1997 19:52:55 -0500 (EST)

Dale wrote:

<<Would (a) 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 (Morse) code?

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 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

With the exception of the last example, I daresay that you would be
hard-pressed to easity find such expert help in ANY school, public, private,
democratic or authoritarian. My experience says that there is a greater
chance of help being brought in to the student or the student being free to
go out and seek such help during the school day at democratic schools than at
any other type of school.

In regards to the peer pressure and the "political correctness" questions you
ask, there is no guarantee that peer pressure won't exist, since it exists in
the minds and hearts of the "pressuree" as much or moreso than in the
"pressurers". In democratic schools, though, people get quite practiced and
skilled at creating their own positions and in appropriately defending them.
In this way, my experience says that they are therefore more able to stand
up to peer pressure than others might be. As far as political correctness is
concerned, again, this si a subjective matter and there is no guarantee that
an individual staff member or student won't react negatively to the content
of, in this case, the student's speech. My experience says that a teacher
who consistently pushes and supports only their own philosophy will get
kicked out pretty quickly or leave of their own accord, since they will find
out that most everyone else is more interested in people with broader, more
tolerant views.