Re: DSM: Educational Reform

Mark Stafford & Angela Sevin (
Wed, 20 May 1998 18:18:19 -0700

Angela here, from Diablo Valley School in Concord, CA:

I agree that public school is not completely awful...I went there and I'm OK,
right? BUT, when I think about what my experience could have been... and the
reasons I survived public school and still came out okay, were 1)good parenting
(helped with self-esteem issues) 2)extra-curricular activities such as church
youth activities 3)the realization halfway through college that I could think for
myself and choose to learn because I enjoy learning, rather than learning because
"it's good for me" or because I need an education in order to "get ahead in this
world". Public school did not prepare me for college or life, except to inform me
that this is the way most people become "normal" members of society.

I want to add that I've spent a lot of time "unlearning" and recognizing the
traditional mindset that was different than my own, in order to uncover my own
"natural" learning style (which is experiential in nature and also "survived" my
public school experience). By the way, I was a "good" student, semi-popular,
involved in sports, band, etc.

My point, and my question is, I got from point A to point B with public school
experience making little difference except to make my journey more hazardous and
long (and I did have some good experiences along the way); how would a Sudbury
Valley type school experience been different? I think it would have been very
different and mostly positive, what do you think?

...which is why I am involved in working at Diablo Valley School as a staff

Angela Sevin