Re: DSM: Educational Reform

Robin Martin (roses9@IDT.NET)
Fri, 22 May 1998 17:19:42 -0500


Well-stated! I often catch myself pushing against traditional education,
and then try to shift my thinking to-- "Okay, so I don't care for that,
WHAT DO I WANT TO BE ABOUT?" And as I shift my own thinking, toward being
FOR something instead of AGAINST something, I find that my communications
with others in education become much more productive. As you say, people
do listen--when you're not pushing against what they think they believe in.
There are really many elements to SVS & other such free models of schools
that many people agree with--IF they aren't too busy trying to defend
traditional schools.

And I liked Teresa's idea too--of doing more research in the area of
alternative education & in particular SVS-models. Even though SVS is "on
the fringes" (or leading edge!) of schooling & reform, I really don't think
it's all that inconsistent with the values held by a great many people in
this country. Mostly, it's just soo different that many people aren't
quite ready for it YET...but times are changing...and slowly people ARE
going to see the effectiveness of alternative approaches... (An
unfortunate truth, I think, is that as traditional schools become more
violent, as we've seen too many times in recent months/days, people will
begin searching even more for schools where love, respect, and community
are also central parts of their schools & what gets learned...)

Have a fun & loving memorial day weekend!


"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to
become what they are capable of being." --Goethe.

At 03:09 PM 5/22/98 -0600, you wrote:
>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.