Re: DSM: [SVS Discussion Board] questions

Alan Klein (
Fri, 14 Apr 2000 22:37:23 -0400

Thanks for the clarification, Mimsy. I am interested in your depiction of
democratic schools as being part of the "mainstream culture" as versus
"ivory tower" (do I have that correct?). I wish that I agreed that
democratic schools are part of the mainstream. If we were, I suspect there
would be more of us. I certainly agree that we are not ivory tower, however.

What has you place SVS in the "mainstream culture"?

I think you know more than you might otherwise think about how to attract
kids of different ages. I believe that it is no accident that SVS has areas
of the buildings that have equipment that is more likely to attract kids of
certain ages than others. I know that there may be no restrictions on, for
example, a 17 year old playing with blocks, and I suspect that some do. But
if the school had no such "littler kid stuff", most parents of younger kids,
and the kids themselves, would be less attracted to SVS. In much the same
way, schools, businesses, art venues, neighborhoods, etc. get informally
"typed" as being "for" or "not for" certain groups or segments of society,
regardless of how open the people in those schools, businesses, art venues,
neighborhoods, etc. actually are to people from outside of the perceived
"type". I believe that concerted, deliberate, targeted outreach is necessary
(or at least helpful) in breaking people loose from such preconceptions.
Simply opening one's doors and wishing that these preconceptions would go
away does not seem to work as well.


----- Original Message -----
From: <>

> I guess what I meant (who knows two days later?) is that you already have
> mighty tiny segment of the community who would even consider sending their
> kids to a private school, and the fact that the school is part of
> culture and not ivory tower culture makes it smaller. And the two things
> contradictory, so only a diverse and un-categorizable group of people are
> interested in both.
> 8 year olds? We have zero idea how to attract any _particular_ age range.
> We would probably be wondering how to get other ages, but I wonder what we
> would do? Maybe wait til they grew up.
> Mimsy

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