Re: DSM: Majority Rule vs. Consensus


Scott Gray (sdg@sudval.org)
Thu, 27 Jan 2000 14:51:27 -0500 (EST)


The Crisis in American Education, by the Sudbury Valley School Trustees
(recently reprinted) talks at length about what it means to be an American
and argues about the means by which to prepare people for full citizenship
in the United States.

See http://www.sudval.org/svs/crisis.html for an excerpt.

On Thu, 27 Jan 2000, Melissa Tyson wrote:

> Does anyone know of any essays or the like expounding upon the idea that
> neither our democratic government nor its citizens should object so
> vehemently to a school based on freedom and democratic principles?
>
> You know --specifically.
>
> --mvt
>
>
> >From: Joseph Roach <josroach@yahoo.com>
> >Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
> >To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
> >Subject: Re: DSM: Majority Rule vs. Consensus
> >Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 04:57:56 -0800 (PST)
> >
> >Greetings Martin,
> >
> >Joe Roach from The New School in Delaware here.
> >
> >Consensus always sound benign, doesn't it?
> >Personally, I find consensus to be a very subtle,
> >insidious form of coersion. Children often disagree
> >with each other -- sometimes for personal reasons,
> >sometimes for reasons of principle... I want a child
> >to be free to disagree.
> >
> >In any democratic organization, a great weakness can
> >the unfettered rule of the majority. Good
> >organization building means ensuring the rights of
> >people who may find themselves in a minority. Such
> >rights can be guarded through the charter or by-laws
> >of the school. Consensus-building can be every bit as
> >unfair as majority rule.
> >
> >Good luck and best regards,
> >
> >Joe Roach
> >The New School
> >Newark, Delaware
> >
> >--- Martin Wilke <martin.wilke@gmx.net> wrote:
> > > Hi all,
> > >
> > > I and three parents are going to (try to) start a
> > > non-coercive school in
> > > Berlin. On our first informal meeting we found that
> > > we have quite
> > > different ideas of how decisions should be made in a
> > > non-coercive
> > > school.
> > > While I think majority should decide they insist on
> > > consensus. Their
> > > main argument is that the majority would oppress the
> > > minority. That
> > > discussions would be ended as soon as it is clear
> > > that a motion will get
> > > a majority, and thus the minority would simply be
> > > ignored. What
> > > experience do you have in School Meetings or
> > > Assemblies with this point?
> > >
> > > Martin Wilke
> > >
> > >
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--Scott David Gray
reply to: sdg@sudval.org
http://www.sudval.org/~sdg



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