Re: Working for love

Joe Jackson (shoeless@erols.com)
Sun, 12 Apr 1998 23:45:14 -0400

OK, I can't hold my lip any longer.

Peter, you're making a lot of authoritative statements about the Sudbury
Model of Education and yet it is clear that you haven't done _any_
rudimentary reading about the model. I'm somewhat embarrassed that you are
condemning the model:

> "There is a tendancy to take refuge in myth and assertion."
(snip)
> "In general, there is far too much
> ideology about when it comes to progressive education and far too little
> examining of the facts.
(snip)
> There tends to be an atmosphere of cult surrounding the whole movement,
and
> an intolerance of criticism.

...and yet you freely profess that you haven't read any of the literature:

> The question is, do you
> stick to your theories and not intervene when a child is obviously not
> learning to read and write? Or do you use encouragement and persuasion?
(snip)
> I have never seen
> any follow-up surveys of how kids get on after they leave (I understand
> Sudbury has done some, but I wouldn't be certain).

Books about the Sudbury Model are available from the Sudbury Valley School
website: http://www.sudval.org. Peter, don't take this harshly. Please go
away, learn about the model, and then come back and participate
meaningfully in this discussion group!

----------
> From: Tim Kyng <z7531389@pop3.student.unsw.edu.au>
> To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
> Subject: Re: Working for love
> Date: Sunday, April 12, 1998 10:56 PM
>
> Dear Dale,
>
> At Summerhill the staff were certainly NOT chosen by the students (and
still
> are not, so far as I know). I don't know what the practice is at the
> majority of progressive schools. I know that at Sudbury the staff are
> chosen democratically by all pupils and staff. But I don't think this is
at
> all the rule among progressive schools - unfortunately.
>
> The point I make is simple. The staff at ANY school, progressive or
> otherwise, should be fully professional, and to ensure this professional
> rates must be paid.
>
> Of course I am not saying I was ripped off in terms of time or money.
What
> I said was straightforward. If you don't pay professional rates and if
you
> don't have enough money to provide a full range of subjects, the kids
will
> suffer.
>
> I did introduce another theme: does encouragement equal compulsion?
This
> is particularly important when it comes to literacy. At Summerhill many
> kids suffered from poor literacy when they left. The question is, do you
> stick to your theories and not intervene when a child is obviously not
> learning to read and write? Or do you use encouragement and persuasion?
> Is it right to stand back and simply do nothing and let a child go out
into
> the world ill-equipped to lead a decent, satisfying life? I think not.
I
> don't think the movement for freedom and self-government in education has
> ever really faced up to this problem. There is a tendancy to take refuge
in
> myth and assertion. For example, it is said that kids who do not learn
to
> read and write well at such schools soon catch up later and do extremely
> well. No one ever seems to challenge this statement, and I have never
seen
> any follow-up surveys of how kids get on after they leave (I understand
> Sudbury has done some, but I wouldn't be certain). As far as my
knowledge
> goes, this statement is highly dubious. In general, there is far too
much
> ideology about when it comes to progressive education and far too little
> examining of the facts.
>
> There tends to be an atmosphere of cult surrounding the whole movement,
and
> an intolerance of criticism.
>
>
> Peter.
>
>
> >Peter wrote:
> ><snip> but a great deal of the problem was caused by sub-standard
> >> staff.
> >
> >Peter, I have been led to believe that in progressive schools the staff
> >is chosen by the students. So are you saying that at Summerhill the
> >students voted to hire a math teacher but there was not enough money in
> >the budget to hire a competent one?
> >
> >You are bringing up so many meaty subjects I am having a difficult time
> >focusing on what you want us to learn from your experiences. What are
> >you really trying to tell us Peter? Did you get ripped off in terms of
> >money and time or what? Do you think many/most students at progressive
> >schools would be better off somewhere else?
> >
> >If so where else?
> >
> >Or are you trying to tell us that the progressive school you will send
> >your children to will have different ground rules than the present
> >ones? What different ground rules? Twice the tuition? Encourage big
> >buck donations from the alumni and the Packard Foundation?
> >
> >Don't let me put words in your mouth. But I obviously have much to
> >learn about progessive schools.
> >
> >Peter, another couple things you did not learn enough about at
> >Summerhill are morality and economics.
> >
> >But it could be worse.
> >
> >You could of attended an American grtf(government run tax funded) school
> >and not be still seeking the truth at all. It sounds like you are not
> >completely turned off of thinking about the important issues of life and
> >that is something to be thankful for. Dale
> >--
> >$ dale-reed@worldnet.att.net Seattle, Washington U.S.A. $
> >
> >
> >
>