RE: DSM:teachers

Sharon Stanfill (
Wed, 21 Oct 98 09:19:10 EDT

        Could you comment further? I'm sure that the classroom dynamic
is greatly different in most Sudbury schools than in many traditional
schools, but how is it better?


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>From Tue Oct 20 18:53:02 1998
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From: Joe Jackson <>
To: "''"
Subject: RE: DSM: Sudbury Valley/Summerhill
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 18:09:45 -0400
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On Tuesday, October 20, 1998 3:06 PM, Sharon Stanfill
 [] wrote:
> Albert's mention of Shady Hill points to one of the potential problem
> areas I see with Summerhill/SVS and similiar schools. It is certainly
> true that people (not just children) will often work hard at learning
> something that they are interested in or feel a need to learn, however,
> it's simply not true that everyone can learn everything they might
> be interested in well without excellent and often structured instruction.
> Summerhill/SVS/etc. (what's the best phrase to refer to this set?) seem
> likely to be less good at providing classes than other private schools -
> there seems to be a tendancy to regard teaching as a relatively unskilled
> activity.

For good cause, as folks in our traditional schools who are considered
"highly skilled teachers" are doing such an inferior job of "teaching" in
this day and age. I've seen "highly skilled teachers" in action at a
Sudbury School -- they have to use all of their conscious restraint to keep
out of the student's faces, and rightly so, as that very tendency which
most "skilled teachers" seemingly cannot resist (the urge to own, initiate,
and control the learning process) is precisely what harms students the very

However, I don't agree that Sudbury Schools don't do as good a job of
"providing classes", in fact, I think the deemphasis, and in fact the
un-dietification of the adult in the classroom revolutionizes the classroom
dynamic to a degree that if I had not personally witnessed it I would call
me a liar.

Fairhaven School in MD

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