Re: Working for love

Naomi Gold (
Mon, 13 Apr 1998 12:52:47 -0400 (EDT)

> 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:

Peter has stated that he was actually attended Summerhill, so his
statements are based, as I have commented in a previous posting, on
concrete experience. As for not lacking "rudimentary reading about the
model" I think we all know that there are often significant differences
between written material and real life. Theories about "models" are
interesting, but I, for one, am always eager to know how these are
actually implemented. Does Peter's life experience as a Summerhill
student count for nothing?

"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. > >

The replies to Peter's comments bear out his assertion regarding an
intolerance of criticism. I am frankly shocked at the hostility that has
been directed toward him. He has raised some excellent critical
questions; at the same time he has said that Summerhill was a good
experience for him, one that he wouldn't have missed.

Peter, don't take this harshly. Please go away, learn about the model, and
then come back and participate meaningfully in this discussion group!

Again, would someone tell me why Peter's experiences at Summerhill are so
invalidated by those replying to him? I am certainly interested - deeply
interested - in the Sudbury "model," but I am MORE interested in how it
actually WORKS. By extension, I am interested in Peter's experiences and
observations about how a formative alternative school like Summerhill
actually worked, including the problems and drawbacks he may have

Peter's participation WAS meaningful and relevant. He asked good
questions. Does devotion to the Sudbury model preclude critical
questioning? Has devotion to the "Sudbury model" deteriorated into an
ideology? If Peter didn't take the "please go away, etc." harshly, I
sure did. I am certain that no young person attending Sudbury is ever told
to "go away" and study something before being validated as a conversation