Re: DSM: Educational Reform

Paul Gilbert (
Fri, 22 May 1998 15:09 -0600 (MDT)

I think those of us who favor alternative schools should keep in mind
that we are in the minority. Most people think traditional schooling
is basically the right approach. And most people are going to
continue thinking this way until they see effective alternatives.

Given this situation, harsh criticism is likely to turn many people
off. We won't be able to convince people that most schools on the
planet are wrong and democratic schools are right. Fortunatly, we
don't need to convince a majority of people that we are right. We just
need to convince them that other ideas deserve a fair chance.

This is an appeal to values most people already share. For example,
that there is more than one way to do something, that individuals have
different needs, that people have a right to make their own choices,
that there should be a level playing field among competing
alternatives, and that diversity is good.

Once people apply these values to education they begin to support
reform. Then good ideas (like SVS) will spread much more rapidly.