Trusting kids

SEArenas (
Tue, 21 Apr 1998 00:48:12 EDT

In a message dated 98-04-20 22:17:02 EDT, you write:

<< It comes down to trusting kids. I think
experience at Sudbury schools has borne out the notion that you can trust
them. >>

I imagine that this is a hard one for many parents--not so much, perhaps, the
idea of trusting a majority of kids/students to make wise decisions for the
good of the many, but the idea of absolutely trusting that kids/students will
learn what they "need" to know in this school model. And the need, as parents,
to let go of the idea that what our kids want to learn may not be what we
would want them to learn.

Trust in the safety of kids in an unsupervised environment is also something
of a challenge for me, and for most of the people (outside of the school) I
have discussed this model with.

I wonder how children who have the freedom and independence to direct their
own learning, see their role in the family community. I'd love to hear from
staff and parents, from SVS and other Sudbury-model schools, about some of the
changes/challenges that this learning model has on the family, and
parent/child relationships. It would seem that a parent's role might need to
change from being the family "leader" or guide to the child, to one that is
more supportive/non-intrusive. Or are the differences in family dynamics/level
of freedom vs. school community dynamics/level of freedom just another example
of the complexities of life--those complexities that Sudbury students are said
to be learning to deal with on an everyday basis?

Shelley Arenas